ISA numbers down but deposits rise

Commenting on the latest ISA statistics released by HMRC today, Gary Heynes, RSM’s head of private client said:

‘The latest figures show that while there was an overall reduction in the numbers of people subscribing to ISAs in 2015-16, those with available funds took advantage of the increase in the annual limit to plough £80bn into their ISA accounts, £1bn more than in the previous year. 

‘What is somewhat surprising is that we haven’t seen a greater proportion of people choosing to subscribe to stocks and shares ISAs which potentially offer better returns than the low rates being offered on cash ISAs.  

‘Interestingly, Londoners hold the least number of ISAs as a proportion of the population with only 36 per cent of adults in London having such an account, compared to 50 per cent of adults in the south west. This may be explained by a lack of spare cash due to high property costs in addition to the relatively higher costs of living generally.’