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Press Release

For Immediate Release: Tuesday 11 July 2000


  • "When half the population have only £200 or less in savings, there is broad agreement that we must do more to encourage savings by everyone" Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Budget Speech 1998  
  • In 1901 under 5% of the UK population was aged 65+, by 2000 this had reached 15% and by 2050, just short of 25% of the population will be over the current retirement age - that means one pensioner for every two working adults. (Office for National Statistics - Govt. Actuary's Dept.)
  • Public understanding of personal finance matters shows negligible improvement over the past three years. (AUTIF - Financial Awareness and Consumer Education Tracking Study - FACETS)

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are ideal for everyone - from people who have never saved before, who can take their first steps into a cash deposit account, to those able to make a long-term commitment, who can opt for equity ISAs. Yet people still find these products confusing.

56% of the people asked in AUTIF's monthly tracking study (FACETS) understand that ISAs are tax free investments, but only 34% realise that you are only entitled to one ISA allowance each year and that the three possible parts, cash, stocks and shares and insurance can be with different providers.

To help potential investors get a better idea of what to some is clearly a complicated subject, AUTIF has updated its free guide to tax-free savings, which explains in simple terms the benefits of ISAs. Feedback suggests the question and answer section is particularly helpful.

Anne McMeehan, Director of Communications at AUTIF said:

"The lack of improvement in consumer understanding makes for pretty depressing reading. There is a wealth of information available nowadays, but somehow the message simply isn't getting through. Month after month our financial awareness tracking study shows a worryingly consistent pattern of public uncertainty.

It is so important that people recognise that saving is not something they can put off. The State will not be there to provide. We just hope that our new fact sheet will help more people get to grips with some investment basics. ISAs shouldn't be seen as that daunting."

For further information please contact:
Anne McMeehan, Director of Communications, AUTIF - +44 (0)20 7831 0898
Clare Arber, PR Manager, AUTIF - +44 (0)20 7831 0898

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