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IMA reports best Isa crop in almost a decade as sales figures hit £950m

Individual savings accounts recorded their best sales in nine years in the run-up to the end of the financial year, according to the Investment Management Association.

The IMA says the period between March 1 to April 5 brought in £956m in Isa sales.

For the wider 2010/11 tax year, Isa sales of £3.7bn were recorded, the second-best haul in 10 years.

Isas make up 18 per cent of all authorised funds under management, which totalled £106.4bn at the end of March.

Overall in March, UK funds experienced net retail sales of £1.9bn.

The best-selling IMA sector in March was the strategic bond sector, with retail sales of £337m. Global was the second most popular with £287m followed by the cautious managed sector with £255m.

Japan also saw the fifth-highest inflows at £146m, despite its earthquake, tsunami and nuc-lear crisis in the same month.

However, outside Japan, the Asia-Pacific region struggled with outflows of £185m, making it the worst-selling sector despite strong popularity with retail investors in recent years.

Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott says: “I am not surprised Japan has done OK as there was a valuation anomaly after the disaster. Markets tend to overreact and this created an opportunity.”

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