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Barclays Stockbrokers investment ISAs up 37% as savers reject cash

28 April 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
Barclays Stockbrokers has reported a rise in the number of investors choosing riskier investment ISAs as they ditch cash in favour of the potential for higher returns.

Investors have been displaying a bullish attitude to their investment choices in recent months, Barclays Stockbrokers has found, despite market volatility, as interest rates on savings have fallen to record lows.

It has recorded that 61 per cent of trades so far this year have been buys, compared to 39 per cent sells.

As investors seek alternative sources of returns, the share dealing account provider has noticed a 37 per cent increase in the number of investment ISAs being opened compared to the 2007/2008 tax year.

ISA top-ups also increased, the analysis found, as 69 per cent more investors have rushed to make the most of their tax-free savings allowance compared to the previous year.

Barclays Stockbrokers also recorded that its assets under administration (AUA) increased 150 per cent in the 2008/2009 tax year, compared to the year before.

This is expected to continue into the new tax year too, as 85 per cent of investors have said they intend to put money into an investment ISA in the 2009/2010 tax year.

Commenting, Barbara-Ann King, head of investments at Barclays Stockbrokers, said: "Whilst markets have continued to be extremely volatile, and some investors have taken advantage of this, many others have been more cautious. As interest rates have languished at record lows, cash is not viewed by many as a viable alternative.

"It is encouraging that our clients have taken the bull by the horns and made sure they take advantage of not only their tax free allowance but also the potential returns that can be gained from investing in equities," she continued. "It is also very encouraging that our investors recognise the benefits offered by ISAs and so have actively taken up their allowances in order to maximise the returns that they generate."

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