Isa sales witness first outflow

Although low investor confidence is most likely to blame, the IMA says the outflow may also be attributed to higher interest rates, a stagnant market and the reduced tax benefits associated with ISAs. It may also be a reflection of investors uncertainty about the government’s savings policy. According to IMA chief executive, Richard Saunders: ‘The first net outflow that we have recorded from ISAs shows that the efforts to attract investors back to the market are not yet succeeding”. The recent outflow also follows the lowest ever recorded inflow of £25m in August.

The UK All Companies sector saw a net outflow of £37m during the same period but it was also the most popular sector last month in terms of gross retail sales, accounting for 20% of sales. The second most popular sector was UK Equity Income with 15%.

While total net sales were up 14% in September compared with August, they remain 18% below those for September. Net retail sales in September fell to £265.8m compared with sales of £559m in September 2003. The total number of regular savings plans also dropped significantly to 1.56 million from 1.6 million last quarter while ISA plans fell by 2% compared with second quarter figures.