ISA statistics: Stocks and shares and cash ISAs

How much money do Brits place in stocks and shares and cash ISAs?

An ISA (individual savings account) is a great way to save your money in a tax-free account. A stocks and shares ISA allows you to invest, usually based on the level of risk you are comfortable with. If you want to know more, we’ve compiled a list of the best trading apps to help you decide which is best for you.

Below, we’ve looked into the latest ISA statistics to see how the UK uses these tax-free accounts.

ISA statistics: Highlights

  • 6% of UK adults have a stocks and shares ISA in 2024.
  • A quarter of Brits (26%) plan to open at least one ISA in the 2024/2025 tax year.
  • 3.9 million stocks and shares ISAs and 7.1 million cash ISAs were subscribed to in the 2021/2022 financial year.
  • The average return on a stocks and shares ISA over the past 10 years has been 9.64%.
  • In 2021/2022, a third (33%) of ISA subscriptions were to stocks and shares ISAs.
  • UK adults placed more money in stocks and shares ISAs than cash ISAs in 2021/2022.
  • The annual ISA allowance stands at £20,000 for the tax year 2023/2024.

How many people have an ISA?

3.9 million people subscribed to a stocks and shares ISA in the 2021/2022 tax year, up from around 3.6 million people in 2021/2022, a 10% increase. Just over 7% of UK adults paid some money into a stocks and shares ISA during 2021/2022.

The number of subscriptions has grown by over a million since the 2019/2020 financial year when just 2.7 million stocks and shares ISAs were subscribed to.

7.1 million people subscribed to a cash ISA in 2021/2022, down from a high of 9.7 million in 2019/2020.

In total, just over 11.7 million ISAs were subscribed to in the 2021/2022 tax year. A third (33%) of all ISA subscriptions made were to stocks and shares ISAs during this period.

Number of credit and debit cards in issue UK 2023
Year Number of stocks and shares ISAs Number of cash ISAs
2021/2022 3.9 million 7.1 million
2020/2021 3.6 million 8 million
2019/2020 2.7 million 9.7 million
2018/2019 2.4 million 8.5 million
2017/2018 2.9 million 7 million
2016/2017 2.6 million 8.5 million

How many Brits are planning to open an ISA?

Our survey found that a quarter of Brits (26%) plan to open at least one ISA in the 2024/2025 tax year. A fifth of those (20%) already have an ISA and intend to open another, while a further 5% do not currently have an ISA but intend to open one.

What is the average return on a stocks and shares ISA?

The average return on a stocks and shares ISA over the past 10 years has been 9.64%. However, the performance of this type of ISA can vary significantly, seeing losses as well as returns.

The average stocks and shares ISA experienced a loss of 3.27% between February 2022 and February 2023. This is down from an average return of 6.92% between 2021 and 2022 and an average return of 13.55% between 2020 and 2021, when the stock market saw a boom after the pandemic.

Year Average stocks and shares ISA returns Average cash ISA returns
2022/2023 -3.27% 1.71%
2021/2022 6.92% 0.51%
2020/2021 13.55% 0.63%
2019/2020 -13.33% 1.18%

How much are Brits paying into ISAs?

Overall, UK adults placed an impressive £34 billion in stocks and shares ISA during the 2021/2022 tax year, around £334 million more than they did in 2020/2021 and almost £12 billion more than they did 5 years earlier in the 2016/2017 tax year.

Meanwhile, a total of £30.9 billion was placed into cash ISAs by UK residents in 2021/2022

Interestingly, in 2021/2022, more money was subscribed to stocks and shares ISAs than cash ISAs. The amount subscribed to cash ISAs has been decreasing steadily over the past 3 years, perhaps because interest rates were lower, making cash ISAs less attractive.

Number of credit and debit cards in issue UK 2023
Year Value of stocks and shares ISA subscriptions Value of cash ISA subscriptions
2021/2022 £34.2 billion £30.9 billion
2020/2021 £33.9 billion £36.8 billion
2019/2020 £24.2 billion £48.7 billion
2018/2019 £22.6 billion £44 billion
2017/2018 £27.8 billion £36.7 billion
2016/2017 £22.3 billion £39.2 billion

What is the average ISA subscription?

Over the last 5 years, the average amount subscribed to a stocks and shares ISA was £9,203. In the 2021/2022 financial year, this was slightly lower at £8,690, less than half (43%) of the total £20,000 ISA allowance.

The average subscription per account for a stocks and shares ISA was far higher than that for a cash ISA, which was just £4,330. This may be related to a number of reasons, such as the disposable income of those subscribing to a stocks and shares ISA, a larger number of people subscribing to cash ISAs, or worse than typical interest rates on cash ISAs during this period.

Number of credit and debit cards in issue UK 2023
Year Average subscription (stocks and shares ISA) Average subscription (cash ISA)
2021/2022 £8,690 4,330
2020/2021 £9,432 4,568
2019/2020 8,875 5,024
2018/2019 9,331 5,187
2017/2018 9,685 5,228
2016/2017 8,623 4,622

Sources

  • GOV.UK
  • Moneyfacts.co.uk
  • Moneyfarm

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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