Demand for stocks and shares ISAs drops 21% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2022

  • Sales of new policies in the run-up to Christmas were down significantly on 2021

  • Meanwhile, the value of these new policies reached their lowest level since Q1 2019

New data from financial mutual Scottish Friendly reveals the number of newly opened stocks and shares ISA policies fell 21% year-on-year in the three months to December 2022.

Sales in the run-up to Christmas were significantly lower than the previous year and the value of these new policies among the financial mutual’s UK-wide customer base fell to a record low.

New policy values were down 13% between the final quarter of 2021 and Q4 2022, reaching their lowest level since Q1 2019 when Scottish Friendly began recording the data.

The drop in value is being driven by a significant decline in investment from male customers. New policy values among men are 41% lower in Q4 2022 than they were in Q1 2019, whereas among women they are up 5% over the same period.

In contrast to sales of adult stocks and shares ISA policies, JISA policy sales remained strong in the final three months of last year, up 42% on Q4 2022.

However, the value of new JISA policies has been trending downwards over the past year. Between Q4 2021 and the final quarter of 2022, values dropped 51% to reach their lowest level since Q1 2019.

Kevin Brown, savings specialist at Scottish Friendly, comments:

"The latest findings suggest that households paired-back their savings and investments in the run-up to Christmas, as they focused on providing for their family over the festive period."

"At this time of year, it’s not unusual to see a drop-off in investment activity. However, there has been a relatively big decline compared with the previous year."

Brown continues:

"It is difficult to know what 2023 has in store for households and their finances, but it is likely that the first six months of the year will present some significant challenges."

"Inflation and the cost of living remains a factor impacting people’s ability to save in the short-term, but as inflation begins to come down over 2023 then disposable incomes should hopefully come under a little less pressure. At that point we expect people to turn from focusing on meeting short-term challenges to looking towards the longer term with their money."

Brown concludes:

"Our data shows many people have started to factor long-term savings into their financial planning over the past four years and that can only be a good thing. The strong performance of Junior ISA investments is also testament to that. Our numbers show many adults are still committing to opening new policies for their children. Although cash savings rates are beginning to slowly improve with interest rates on the rise, parents in particular seem to recognise the long-term value of investing towards their children’s future."


Heather McRoberts, PR & Communications, Scottish Friendly


[email protected]

Editors notes:

Remember that the value of investments can go down as well as up and you could get back less than you paid in.

Past performance is no guide to future results.

Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances which can change in the future.

About Scottish Friendly

Scottish Friendly is a leading UK mutual life and investments organisation. It provides investors and their families with a wide range of investment and protection solutions and provides life and investment products and services to other financial organisations.

Scottish Friendly has roots stretching back to 1862. Established as the City of Glasgow Friendly Society, its name changed in October 1992 when it took over Scottish Friendly Assurance.

In recent years Scottish Friendly has significantly restructured its business. The Group has flourished through a three-part growth strategy of organic growth, mergers and acquisitions, and business process outsourcing.

Scottish Friendly, Galbraith House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow, G2 4HJ

Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.