Isa security is more important to womenFew people know the FSCS limits for Isas

03 March 2012

Cash Isa limits

Men more likely to know cash Isa compensation limits

New research from the FSCS shows that although women are more concerned about Isa safety, men are more likely to know the FSCS limits.

Women value cash Isa protection

When investing in an Isa, women are more likely than men to prioritise the protection provided by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the compensation scheme for regulated financial services in the UK.

26% of women say the single most important factor in deciding which cash Isa provider to use is whether they will get their money back if the institution fails, compared with 30% who want the best price. By contrast, men are almost twice as interested in securing the best deal rather than the existence of a compensation safety net (37% vs. 19%).

Across both sexes, securing the best deal is the most important factor (33%), while people also prioritise the availability of compensation (22%) and whether the product is offered by a well-known and reputable brand (15%).

Uncertainty about cash Isa limits

The research goes on to highlight that despite the importance of Isa protection for women, they appear to know less about the issue than their male counterparts. Only 43% of women questioned are aware that Isa savers would be in line for compensation if their institution went bust, with 47% admitting they don't know. 62% of men are aware that Isas are protected, with 31% saying they don't know.

On specific products, 10% of women compared with 19% of men are aware the limit for cash Isas is £85,000. For stocks and shares Isas too, more men than women (12% against 8%) are aware the limit is £50,000. 

Important to understand FSCS thresholds

FSCS chief executive Mark Neale said: 'Isa savers are keen to protect what they have and want to keep their money safe. Women put more of a premium on safety than men, but they are significantly less likely to know about the compensation which is available if their institution was to fail. 

'The FSCS protects your cash and investment Isas but it is important people understand the limits which apply. In the case of investment Isas, the FSCS can protect against mis-selling or the loss of client money, but not against ordinary investment risk.'

Which? savings expert Paul Davies added: 'With the Isa season in full swing this comes as a timely reminder that you shouldn't have more than £85,000 in a cash Isa. Make sure that you keep your money in a Best Rate cash Isa and move your money around if you have more than the FSCS limit in one account.'

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