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Rock bottom rates see ISA savers flock to stocks and shares

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Record inflows into stocks and shares ISAs were reported for the 2017/18 tax year while subscriptions to the cash product fell by 700,000.

There were 7.7 million cash ISAs subscribed to in 2017/18, down from the 8.4 million reported in the previous tax year.

In total, £39.8bn was deposited into cash ISAs in the year, up £610m reported in 2016/17, according to the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) statistics. The amount held in adult cash ISAs was £270bn.

But inflows into stocks and shares ISAs were at a record high – up £6.38bn to £28.7bn.

In total, 2.8 million people subscribed to stocks and shares ISAs with a total £337.3bn held within these investments.

For Junior ISAs (JISAs), there were 636,000 cash subscriptions and 271,000 stocks and shares subscriptions, totalling £517m and £318m respectively.

Turning to the newer Lifetime ISA, the statistics reveal 166,000 people opened the home-come-pension savings hybrid, below the government’s expectation of 200,000 in the first year of the product launch. The total subscription amount was £517m.

Savers into the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) stood at 31,000, investing £290m in total, a big increase from the £36m reported in the previous year.

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The continued demise of the cash ISA was always on the cards for this year. A second year of the personal saving allowance was compounded by rock bottom cash ISA rates, which unsurprisingly failed to entice savers and saw the number of new cash ISAs fall again.

“However, aside from the travails of cash ISAs, 2017/18 has been a bumper year. ISAs now shelter £608bn of our savings and investments from tax. And rightly so, they’re a vital tool for anyone who doesn’t want to hand the taxman more of their money than is strictly necessary.”

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