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ADVICE IS CENTRAL TO BOOSTING REAL SAVINGS CHOICE

  • Two out of five ISA savers want advice on how to increase investments
  • But nearly half find current ISA rules and choices confusing 

Confused savers want advice on how to increase their investments into ISAs as the tax-free limit is increased to £20,000, new research* from MetLife shows.

Its nationwide study found more than two out of five regular ISA savers (42%) would increase their investments but only if they can source independent face-to-face advice on their options. Around 38% say they would value advice offered at work.

The research, conducted ahead of the increase of the tax-free ISA contribution limit to £20,000 from £15,240 which took effect from April 6th, found high levels of confusion about ISA options and the best ways to save.

Nearly half (45%) of ISA savers believe the current rules and options for stocks & shares ISAs are too complex, highlighting the need for independent advice. Just one in five (19%) currently hold equity ISAs and nearly two out of five (37%) will not invest in them because of fears about volatility.

Around a quarter (23%) of regular ISA savers say they either do not know where to get advice on equity ISAs or are confused about what funds to choose.

Simon Massey, Wealth Management Director at MetLife UK said: “The increased ISA contribution limit to £20,000 dramatically increases the attraction of ISAs as a tax-free savings option but turns the spotlight on the need for advice. 

“Savers should be getting independent face-to-face advice if they are investing such large sums and the concern is that the current rules and options are too complex. 

“There is a real need for increased savings choice particularly when interest rates are at historic lows and there is a clear need for advice on maximising investment opportunities.”

The MetLife research shows around one in five (18%) have sought advice on their ISA savings at some stage. More than half (55%) would consider investing in guaranteed ISAs, which offered the potential for capital growth but with a guarantee to provide greater certainty.

MetLife’s Guaranteed ISA comes with an income or capital guarantee enabling savers to benefit from greater certainty over their investments or future income while still having the potential for growth.

Savers benefit from a guaranteed income for life or guaranteed lump sum at the end of a chosen term, regardless of market fluctuations.  Savers also retain access to their funds when they are needed and are provided with a guaranteed death benefit. The initial minimum investment in the Guaranteed ISA is £15,000.