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BSA reports low take-up of CTFs

23 June 2006
The Building Societies Association (BSA) has described the take-up of Child Trust Funds (CTFs) as "disappointing".

According to new statistics revealed by the BSA, over a third of parents have not yet deposited the cheque from the government that can be used to start a savings account for their children.

Since the scheme was introduced last year, nearly 400,000 CTF accounts have been opened but several critics have cited parental inertia coupled with a lack of promotion by the government for less-than-impressive take-up figures.

"I don't think we can say that the CTF scheme has been a failure or a success, but we can say that take-up by parents has been somewhat disappointing," said Rachel Le Brocq, a spokesperson for the BSA.

When asked if there were any changes she would suggest that could improve the service, she was unsure which, if any, would make any difference.

"In terms of the deadline, it is difficult to say if a shorter deadline would make a difference or not. It could go either way," Ms Le Brocq said.

"A higher sum may well help concentrate parents' minds on the CTF but again we can't answer that with any certainty.

"The government announced in the Budget that a second universal payment would be made to the child at age seven, which we welcome and hope would act as an incentive for parents to save."

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