ISA season pushes regular savers to top up their investments Go compare with our comparison table

ISA season pushes regular savers to top up their investments

13 April 2010 / by Lois Avery

Regular savers have been rushing to top up their ISAs in March, according to figures released by Nationwide.

The Nationwide’s Savings Index for March showed a three-point increase in the frequency of regular savers using their ISAs, following on from February’s six-point rise.

The Savings Index is based on a monthly survey carried out by Nationwide, of 1,000 people representative of the UK population, to determine consumer behavior and feelings about saving in general.

This run on saving during March has been linked to the ISA season, which traditionally falls between February and May, with regular savers keen to make the most of their ISA allowances by topping up their investments either side of the tax year in April.

Andy Hutchinson, Nationwide's Head of Savings says:  "Last month I said that, as we approach the end of the tax year, we would expect to see more people open or top up their ISAs before they lose this year's annual ISA allowance forever. This certainly seems to be the case and we expect to see around two thirds of the total ISA business in the savings industry happen between February and May.

"Now that the new tax year has started, some savers' attention will be switched onto saving as early as possible in an ISA to maximise their tax benefit. With this in mind, it wouldn't be a surprise to me if the Savings Index rose again in April. There has already been a nine- point increase since January 2010."

Nationwide’s survey also showed that there has been a slight improvement in the perception of Government policy encouraging people to save lately, with the annual ISA allowance of £10,200 now available to all.

However, despite the improvement the Building Society says that 21% of consumers are still not saving anything at all.

Andy Hutchinson added: “Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who are not saving. We believe that ISAs should be the first port of call for people’s savings and investments at any time of the year, not just around the time of the end of one tax year and the start of the next.

“We therefore encourage consumers to consider using their ISA allowance throughout the year, getting into a regular savings habit along the way.”

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