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Over 50s get back into ISAs

Investments more than double since allowance increase in October, Virgin Money says

Investors aged 50–plus have more than doubled lump sum contributions into share–based Individual Savings Accounts in response to the Government's increase in ISA allowances, new analysis from Virgin Money shows.

Income funds have been the big winners with contributions increasing by around 130% between 6 October last year and 5 January this year, the analysis reveals.

And Virgin Money believes the increased allowance of £10,200 for the over–50s points to a continuing strong recovery in ISA sales in the run–up to the end of the tax year.

Investment Management Association figures show a record net £23.6 billion was invested in retail fund sales in the 11 months to 30 November 2009 – more than 10 times the amount invested in the same period of 2008.

Virgin Money figures show the surge continued in the three months from 6 October 2009 to 5 January 2010 with lump sum payments by the over–50s increasing by 120% following the change in allowances.

The figures showed that the largest increase in contributions for ISA customers over 50 was into Virgin Money's income fund growing over 130% between 6 October 2009 and 5 January 2010.

Grant Bather, spokesman at Virgin Money, said: "The decision by Chancellor Alistair Darling to increase the ISA threshold to £10,200 for the over 50s has been very popular.

"With the ISA allowance of £10,200 to be extended to all savers in the new tax year we would urge all investors to consider making the most of the increase in the tax efficient allowance."

– Ends –

Notes to editors:

* Virgin Money analysis of own data 18 January 2010

For further information:

Grant Bather at the Virgin Money Press Office
0207 111 1012

Kevan Reilly/Chris Jarvis, Citigate Dewe Rogerson
0207 638 9571

About Virgin Money:

  • Virgin Money is Virgin's financial services arm and was established in 1995 as a joint venture between the Virgin Group and Norwich Union.
  • In 1997, Virgin Direct Personal Financial Services Limited launched The Virgin One Account, a joint venture with The Royal Bank of Scotland that offered the UK's first current account mortgage direct to the retail market. In 2001, RBS bought out the Virgin Group's stake in the joint venture.
  • In April 2004 the Virgin Group took 100% ownership of Virgin Money.
  • Virgin Money currently has over 2.5 million customers and offers Payment Cards (Credit Cards & Prepaid Cards), Savings and Investment products (Stakeholder Pensions, Children's Pensions, Employers Pensions, FTSE Tracker ISA, Bond & Gilt ISA, Climate Change ISA, Cash ISA, and Unit Trusts), General Insurance products (Motor, Home, Travel, and Pet) and Life Assurance products to the UK market.
  • Virgin Money's brand ambition is to make "everyone better off" – this philosophy underpins our approach to business by offering good value to customers, treating employees well, making a positive contribution to society and delivering a profit to shareholders.
  • Virgin has signed a five–year deal to be the official sponsor of the London Marathon, the biggest annual fundraising event in the world. The inaugural Virgin London Marathon is on 25 April 2010. Virgin Money, the financial services division of the Virgin Group is leading the London Marathon sponsorship with the ambition to help runners raise £¼ billion over 5 years and will use its infrastructure, online capability and financial expertise to deliver that through Virgin Money Giving.