Nearly six million people intend to use up their Isa allowance before the end of the fiscal year, ac...
Nearly six million people intend to use up their Isa allowance before the end of the fiscal year, according to research from Intelligent Finance.
If IF's figures are accurate, we should expect more than 350,000 people to descend on our banks and building societies each working day until the 5 April deadline for the end of the fiscal year.
The research, conducted by ICM Research, reveals that while some 7.65 million people, or around 17% of the adult population, have already used their Isa allowances for the 2002/03 tax year, there are still 5.85 million who intended to go Isa shopping in the next 3½ weeks.
In comparison though, more than half of those surveyed have no plans to use the tax-free savings wrapper.
Some 4.7 million people with more than £2,000 stashed in a savings accounts - 2.7 million of whom have more than £5,000 saved - have so far failed to take advantage of their ISA entitlements, IF adds.
In the year ahead, 31% of UK adults, or nearly 14 million people, say they intend to use their Isa allowance, which is up from the 11.9 million who took out Isas in 2001/02, and ahead of provisional figures for 2002/03.
IF's figures seem to fly in the face of reports of poor Isa sales this year. Indeed the IMA's statistics for January - traditionally a busy period for Isa purchases - show that in January 2003 total gross Isa sales were down from the same period in 2002.
IF's research also reveals that 17% of the adult population didn't even know they were able to switch Isa providers. Perhaps this is why only some 5% of Isa holders have ever switched providers.
The dismal performance of equities in recent years has probably affected the investment mix chosen for Isas, with 54% of people, some 7.7 million, planning to take out a cash Isa, but only 26% willing to invest in bonds and 20% in stocks and shares, IF says.
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