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Britons not "savvy savers"

05 April 2006
Up to two-thirds of British households are not taking advantage of their annual ISA allowances, research by First Direct has revealed.

The online-based UK bank notes that this equates to savers handing over more than £1.25 billion in unnecessary tax each year.

The survey, carried out by the Department of Work and Pensions, reveals that Northern Ireland is the worst offending region- 79 per cent of households here are yet to take advantage of the tax break.

The south east is the most savvy area, although over half (58 per cent) of households there still do not hold an ISA account.

Ben Dunn, head of marketing at First Direct, said: "Each year…12 million people have signed up for their annual ISA allowance.

"But as Gordon Brown said during his budget speech, the total number of people who have joined up over the last seven years is just 16 million," he continued. "This suggests that for the vast majority, it's the same savvy savers who are signing up year after year."

Mr Dunn noted that First Direct was playing its part in encouraging "savvy saving", citing the latest edition of the e-ISA, which pays five per cent AER until September 1st.

The new tax year, and therefore a new opportunity to use your individual tax-free savings allowance, begins this Thursday, April 6th.

To read more on ISAs, click here.

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