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Investors shun Isas

The traditional rush during March to take advantage of the tax-free allowance offered by Individual Savings Accounts (Isas) did not materialise this year, new data shows.Figures from the Investment Management Association reveal that in the period between March 1st and April 5th just £532 million worth of the savings accounts were sold. This is nearly half the figure of £957 million recorded last year and meant that annual net sales of the products stalled at £1.3 billion during the 2007/8 tax year. Richard Saunders, chief executive of the IMA, attributed the downturn in demand to the credit crunch and the dent this has made in investors' confidence. He said: "The Isa season this year was modest, though over £250m inflows in the last five days of the tax year pushed it up to respectable levels. "In current uncertain market conditions it is encouraging to see two months of positive net retail and Isa sales, a significant improvement on the previous three months. Private investors continue to be cautious, however, with bond funds proving popular."

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