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ISAs flip North-South divide

13 April 2006
The south seems to outshine the north in England as far as most things financial go, such as average earnings, house prices and unemployment rates. However ISA savings buck the trend, according to research by Halifax bank.

A new study of Halifax savers has shown that those in the north of England have the highest average balance in their fixed rate ISAs (£7,892), followed by the north west and Northern Ireland (£7,631) and western Scotland (£7,272).

The findings also showed that savers living in the north west and Northern Ireland were the most likely to have a fixed rate ISA, holding a combined total of 18.3 per cent of such accounts with Halifax.

Savers older than 45 are also the overwhelmingly largest age group to hold the fixed rate, tax free packages, accounting for 87.6 per cent of all the bank's customers for these products.

"Everyone has an annual allowance of £3,000 to place in a mini cash ISA, which will earn interest, free of tax," said Peter Jackson, head of banking and savings at Halifax.

"With the new tax year just begun, it makes perfect sense to put as much as you can in an account that earns a great rate which is guaranteed for one to four years."

All of Halifax's fixed rate ISA savers offer five per cent gross AER per annum, although the one-year term is the most popular option, with over half of the bank's customers choosing this above the two, three or four year tenure accounts.

To find out more on ISAs, click here.

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