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Investors put off by lack of VCT data

Inadequate information about venture capital trusts could be stunting the market&#39s growth, according to a survey of IFAs by Singer & Friedlander Investment Management.

More than 56 per cent of IFAs interviewed said clients had not invested in VCTs due to a lack of performance data.

But the poll also showed that IFAs play a big part in the promotion of VCTs, with 66 per cent claiming their clients had no knowledge of VCTs before approaching their adviser.

The poll will fuel fears that the VCT industry is set to fall short of selling out this tax year. Last year, all new issues were oversubscribed by the end of the tax year. But pundits believe the industry has overcompensated this year, with around £350m of new issues still to be filled.

Singer & Friedlander director David Poole says: “There is a clear link between lack of information on performance and reluctance to invest in VCTs. IFAs have a vital role in educating clients about different types of VCTs and encouraging them to weigh up potential benefits against the risks.”

Allenbridge&#39s Tax Shelter Report is responsible for one of the few websites and publications which provide data on VCTs. Director of research Martin Churchill says: “There is an enormous supply out there and I do not think they will all sell out before the end of this tax year.”

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