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ISA popularity at ten-year low, reports HMRC

03 Sep 2015

The number of Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) taken out by adults has diminished, according to official figures.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) report that there were 13 million new accounts taken out in 2014/15, down from the 13.5 million opened during the previous year.

The figure comes in spite of an increase in the amount that customers can put into an ISA.

In July 2014 the maximum subscription amount for both cash and stocks-and-shares ISAs was increased to £15,000, with the current limit standing at £15,240 for 2015/16.

These accounts are free of both income and capital gains tax.

Low savings rates may have contributed to the fall in the opening of new accounts. These rates have been so low that being tax-free offers minimal advantage.

A one year fixed-rate cash ISA typically offers a return of 1.75%, with other one year savings bonds offering up to 2%.

80% of savings already within ISAs is held in cash, with 20% held in stocks and shares, according to HMRC.