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Isas are latest victim of economic woe as sales take a 49% hit

The Investment Management Association has revealed that net sales of Isas dropped by almost £2bn in the 2011-12 tax year.

Net sales for the year reached £2.1bn, meaning a 47 per cent fall compared with net sales of more than £4bn for each of the previous two tax years.

Net retail sales of just £6m were reported during the first quarter of 2012. This compares to £765m in the first quarter of 2011 and £1.2bn in the first quarter of 2010.

Net retail sales from the beginning of March to April 5, 2012, the traditional peak of the Isa season, stood at £553m, down by 43 per cent from £974m over the same period in 2011 and by 41 per cent from £938m in 2010.

IMA chief executive Richard Saunders says: “Isa sales in the last tax year were a reasonably healthy £2.1bn, though well down on the previous two tax years.”

Willis Owen head Edward Johnson says: “Economic uncertainty and lack of disposable income has hit investors in the past 12 months. However, despite that, investors continue to recognise the value of saving in an Isa, even if they are uncertain about the current market.”

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