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Brown boost for Isa sales

Fidelity says investor confidence has been boosted by the Government’s decision to consult on Isa contributions.

A survey by Fidelity of nearly 1,000 equity investors reveals that 27 per cent say they are now more likely to invest in an equity-based Isa in 2005, following the Chancellor’s move to consider keeping contribution limits at 7,000 until at least 2009. The research shows 59 per cent of investors said they thought the Treasury’s change of heart would encourage more people to invest in equity markets during 2005.

Despite a 12.8 per cent return from the FTSE All Share index during 2004, Isa sales fell to 338m in December 2004 from 372m in December 2003.

Fidelity managing director Richard Wastcoat says: “The decision to consult on extending the current Isa limits until 2009 was an extremely welcome one.

“It gives a clear signal of confidence to anyone thinking of investing their savings. We believe that Isas continue to have a key role in encouraging the investment habit that the Government is so keen to foster as part of its efforts to close the so-called savings gap in the UK.”

F&C director of communications Jason Hollands says: “With all eyes focused on a possible May general election, we can expect to hear more about the threat of rising taxation. This may yet prove a catalyst for a last minute pick up in Isa sales even if much of this ends up initially parked in cash.”

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