View more on these topics

Direct forces claim majority of sales as July Isa figures dwindle

Isa sales have fallen for the fourth month in a row, according to Autif figures released this week.

Gross Isa sales in July were down by 12 per cent on the previous month to £703.2m from £795.5m. Sales have now fallen by more than 70 per cent since their peak of £2.4bn in March.

Although it is usual for the summer months to see a seasonal decrease in sales, this year has witnessed a particularly sharp tail-off, with Isa sales in July more than 13 per cent lower than Pep figures for the same period in 1998.

Despite the disappointing Isa results, sales of unit trusts and Oeics continued to increase. Net retail sales in July were up by almost 9 per cent on the previous month to £1.2bn, indicating an unusual increase in direct unit trust and Oeic investment without a tax-free wrapper.

July also marked a disappointing month for IFAs as they lost ground to tied agents and direct salesforces. IFAs accounted for 39 per cent of Isa sales, down from 42 per cent in June, while tied agents saw a 4 per cent increase to 42 per cent.

Plan Invest director Michael Owen says: “The decline in Isa sales is probably about 75 per cent seasonal but the other 25 per cent would be down to the market, which has been very lacklustre all summer. The increase in retail sales may be a sign that the population is becoming more sophisticated. Once they have reached their £7,000 Isa limit, it does not mean they cannot continue to invest in unit trusts.”

Recommended

Pension sharing

While the plain vanilla stakeholder pension plan is poised to help society cope better with pension provision, can it provide effective tax-planning solutions as well?Long before the Green Paper which launched the stakeholder consultation process, it was clear that here was a pension scheme that would cause a sea-change in attitudes to pensions. By creating […]

Bullhound enters market with global technology fund

New offshore investment company Bullhound has entered the market with a global technology fund available to websurfing investors.The fund, which allows individuals to run their investments on the internet, is a Luxembourg domiciled SICAV and is aimed at experienced investors. Mainly those who are looking for growth as well as exposure to the technology market.Global […]

DSS launches new website

The Department of Social Security is launching a new website as part of a drive to deliver all of its services electronically by 2005. The new site, www.dss.gov.uk, merges the Benefits Agency and old DSS sites. It will feature practical information for customers, such as a search engine for finding their nearest social security office. […]

A transformation as the market widens

It&#39s easy to think of stakeholder only in the context of simpler products and lower margins. Stakeholder undoubtedly opens up opportunities both for financial advisers and providers to develop high-volume, low-margin business.But the new tax regime covering stakeholder, personal pensions and occupational schemes brings oppor- tunities for corporate and individual tax planning. Enormous scope remains […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment