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Isas feel February chill

Fund managers&#39 worst expectations were confirmed this week as Autif figures revealed February Isa sales down by 37 per cent on last year.

Net Isa sales plummeted to £646.8m from £1,029.3m in the same month last year but sales were narrowly up on January&#39s figure of £517m.

A combination of repurchases and poorly performing markets have seen total funds under management fall by £100m to £257.3bn from £257.4bn last February, despite more than £1.3bn worth of sales over the past year.

February redemptions provided the only consolation among the figures, down by 11 per cent from January to £1.3bn from £1.46m.

The UK all companies sector continued to account for the biggest share of fund sales, with 30 per cent of the market. Europe, global growth and UK equity income accounted for another 30 per cent between them.

The figures come as the banks report large increases in cash Isa sales. Halifax says it is opening more than 4,500 mini cash Isas a day at present and has been averaging 80,000 a month since the start of the year. It says sales are up by around 20 per cent compared with last year.

Autif PR manager Clare Arber believes investors should continue to consider equities. She says: “For the last-minute buyer, this year there really is a chance to sweep up an Isa at a lower price before the deadline.”

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