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ISA advice central to boosting real savings choice, says MetLife

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Confused savers want advice on how to increase their investments into ISAs as the tax-free limit is increased to GBP20,000, research from MetLife shows.

Its nationwide study found more than two out of five regular ISA savers (42 per cent) would increase their investments but only if they can source independent face-to-face advice on their options. Around 38 per cent say they would value advice offered at work.
 
The research, conducted ahead of the increase of the tax-free ISA contribution limit to GBP20,000 from GBP15,240 which took effect from 6 April, found high levels of confusion about ISA options and the best ways to save.
 
Nearly half (45 per cent) 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 per cent) currently hold equity ISAs and nearly two out of five (37 per cent) will not invest in them because of fears about volatility.
 
Around a quarter (23 per cent) 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, says: “The increased ISA contribution limit to GBP20,000 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 per cent) have sought advice on their ISA savings at some stage. More than half (55 per cent) would consider investing in guaranteed ISAs, which offered the potential for capital growth but with a guarantee to provide greater certainty.
 

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