Best season for Isa sales since 2002, says IMA

Figures from the Investment Management Association released last week show it has been the best Isa season since 2002.

From March 1, 2006, to April 5, 2006, net Isa sales totalled 897m, the highest since 2002’s figure of 1.4bn and an increase of 16% on the same period in 2005. The 2005/6 tax year saw net Isa sales of 2bn, an increase of 13% on 2004/5. Isa sales in March 2006 were 575.8m, up 27% from the March 2005 figure of 445.4m.

The highest gross-selling sector was UK All Companies, which sold 161m in March 2006 and 1.2bn in the tax year 2005/6, accounting for 27% of gross inflows. The Cautious Managed sector had the second highest number of net sales in March 2006, amounting to 55m. Money in the unclassified sector amounted to 71.9m net and 372m for the tax year 2005/6.

Fund supermarkets were the most popular distributors of Isas in March, with gross sales of 447m. Sales force tied agents were the second most popular, with gross sales of 298m.

For the tax year, sales forces and tied agents outsold fund supermarkets slightly, with sales of 2.027bn and 2.026bn respectively. Net retail sales in March 2006 and the first quarter of this year were also the best since 2002.

In net retail terms, an IMA spokesperson says, property funds made up two-thirds of the sales in the specialist sector throughout March 2006.