Cash Isas outstripped by shares

Savings jam jar Low interest rates have depressed the growth of cash Isas

The accumulated value of stocks and share Individual Savings Accounts (Isas) has outstripped the value of cash Isas, government figures show.

Provisional figures for 2009-10 show savings in share Isas were worth £178bn, with £172bn held in cash Isas.

The 53% rise in the value of stocks and share Isas reflected last year's increase in stock markets.

Savings held in cash Isas, currently paying an average interest rate of just 0.69%, went up by just 9%.

During the past financial year they were offering even lower returns to investors than at the moment, of just under 0.5% a year.

Cash Isas are held by about a third of the UK's adult population.

In April this year, the amount people could save in an Isa every year rose from £7,200 to £10,200, of which half can be saved in cash and half, or all, in stocks and shares.

The figures for the stocks and shares investments include the value of former personal equity plans.

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