Net ISA sales in March were more than double February's level at £496 million — 21 per cent higher than March 2003, the latest figures from the Investment Management Association have shown.
Additionally, net ISA sales April 1 to April 5 were £247 million, which bought net ISA sales for the 2003/04 tax year to £3.6 billion compared to £4.1 billion for 2002/03.
Once more advisers were overall the most popular channel for distribution with 67 per cent of gross retail sales. However sales forces and tied agents were the most popular distributors of ISAs. They accounted for 36 per cent of gross ISA sales, whereas intermediaries accounted for 31 per cent. ISA sales direct from the public accounted 30 per cent.
However, this means sales force/tied agents have lost market share as last year they accounted for almost half of gross ISA sales at 49 per cent.
IMA chief executive Richard Saunders says: “ISA sales in March were stronger than last year, though still well below their peak in 2000. Investors have been returning to funds since the middle of last year, and to equities over the last six months. That trend is continuing.”