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CTF top-ups continue to rise

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The latest TISA quarterly survey of Child Trust Funds (CTFs) shows that parents and relatives continue to increase savings for their children’s future, despite economic uncertainty.

The survey, which covered the period to 15 March 2008, provides insight in to the 2.14 million accounts opened by participating providers.

A further 480,000 accounts have been opened in the year since March 2007, with nearly 134,000 of these in the last quarter alone. Encouragingly, the average size of contributions from parents and family members through both regular Direct Debits and lump-sums registered increases on the previous quarter.

Average Direct Debit payments are up this quarter by 21p to £21.64, while the proportion of accounts being regularly topped up by parents making regular Direct Debits remained about the same as in the previous quarter at 23.3%, down 0.1%. Lump sum contributions increased by some 4.9% – with 132,260 accounts receiving an average of £472. This is a substantial increase compared to an average of £386 one year ago.
Tony Vine Lott, director general of TISA, said: “In our fifth CTF survey, we have found that parents continue to recognise that Child Trust Funds represent an, easy way to save for their children’s future.

“More parents are now increasing both lump sum and regular contributions. With the average direct debit contribution of £21.64 per calendar month, nearly a half million parents are following the Government’s example and contributing over £250 per year to their children’s future.

“We are continuing to work with providers and HM Government to maximise the participation and uptake of CTFs by parents. We were pleased by Government’s announcement in the 2008 Budget that a physical voucher will not be required to open an account. We hope that this will help to simplify the account opening process for new parents and their financial provider of choice.” 

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