More than 5m accounts opened as savers get into the ISA habit

In a statement, the Revenue said over 5.1 million ISA accounts had been opened.

This £12.7 billion is about 40 per cent more than the sums put into PEPs and TESSAs in the same period last year, it added.

In response to the publication of these figures the Economic Secretary, Melanie Johnson said: ‘This is another splendid set of figures for ISAs, showing that more and more people are taking part in this accessible, flexible and attractive way of tax free saving.

‘In particular there has been a very encouraging growth in stocks and shares ISAs. They are now running almost level with cash ISAs and, in the last quarter, about 20% more money was invested in them than into PEPs in the comparable quarter last year.’

The period in question covered 6 April to 5 October 1999.

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