Sales of £6.2bn boosted by savers pouring into ISAs in April

Savers invested £1.5 billion into funds wrapped by ISAs in April, bringing April’s total net retail sales to £6.2 billion. In the space of a month, savers invested £78 million more into ISAs than over the previous 12 months, data published today by the Investment Association (IA) reveals. The other key findings for April include:                           

  • Tracker fund sales rebounded in April as net retail sales reached £2.9 billion compared with sales of £626 million in March.
  • Equity fund sales were the highest of any asset class at £2.9 billion and the IA’s Global sector remained the best-selling sector with net retail sales of £1.7 billion.
  • Despite inflation concerns, sales to fixed income funds remained strong - attracting £1.3 billion in net retail inflows, which is a £230 million increase on March.
  • The UK Smaller Companies inflow was the highest since the record £279m in December 2019.

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:

“Savers have once again shown the appeal of ISAs in helping to get into the savings habit and build up a retirement nest egg.  Comparing the strong ISA flows this April to the year before shows investors have been moving money into funds to make the most of tax incentivised savings and to deliver better returns amidst low interest rates on cash savings.

The overall inflow to UK equities for a second consecutive month follows a sustained period of outflows and points to investor confidence continuing to grow as the UK looks to leave the pandemic economic consequences behind. In particular, the rising inflows to more domestically-focused UK Smaller Companies funds shows investors are increasingly positive that the post-Brexit UK economy will grow strongly as it opens up. In another strong month for responsible investment funds, savers invested £1.6bn, taking the total inflows to £13.5 billion over the last year - representing 30% of flows into funds."





Funds Under Management

Net Retail Sales

Net Institutional Sales

April 2021 

£1.5 trillion

£6.2 billion

£491 million

April 2020

£1.2 trillion

£3.9 billion

£3.5 billion




The five best-selling Investment Association sectors for April 2021 were:

  1. Global was first with net retail sales of £1.7 billion.
  2. Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares was second with net retail sales of £937 million
  3. Volatility Managed followed with net retail sales of £517 million.
  4. Mixed Investment 20-60% Shares was fourth with net retail sales of £270 million.
  5. UK Gilts was fifth with net retail sales of £256 million.

The worst-selling Investment Association sector in April 2021 was Corporate Bond with an outflow of £263 million.



Equity was the best-selling asset class, with £2.9 billion of inflows.

Mixed Asset funds were the second best-selling asset class in April 2021 with £1.5 billion in net retail sales.

Fixed Income funds experienced £1.3 billion of inflows.

Other funds (which includes the Targeted Absolute Return, Volatility Managed, and Unclassified sectors) experienced £458 million of net retail sales.

Money Market funds experienced net retail inflows in April of £98 million.

Property funds however experienced £38 million in net retail outflows.



Global was the best-selling equity fund region in April 2021, with net retail sales of £1.96 billion.

Asia funds were second, seeing net retail inflows of £245 million.

Japan funds came next, with net retail inflows of £161 million.

UK funds experienced £46 million of net retail inflows.

North America funds saw net retail inflows of £22 million.

Europe was the only region that saw outflows, with net retail outflows of £72 million.



Tracker funds saw a net retail inflow of £2.9 billion in April 2021. Tracker funds under management stood at £269 billion as of the end of April. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 17.8%.



Responsible investment funds saw a net retail inflow of £1.6 billion in April 2021. Responsible investment funds under management stood at £72 billion as of the end of April. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 4.8%.



In April, gross retail sales for UK fund platforms totalled £17 billion, representing a market share of 50.5%. 

Gross retail sales through Other UK Intermediaries including IFAs were £7.9 billion, representing a market share of 23.3%. 

Direct gross retail sales in April were £2.2 billion, representing a market share of 6.4 %. 

For further information, please contact:

Katie Martin, Head of Communications: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4655

Helen Ayres, Senior Communications Manager: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4620

Camilla Esmund, Communications Executive: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4625

IA Press Office: [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

To see a breakdown of the data referenced in this press release, please see all of the tables here.

** The Investment Association’s ISA figures are based on information collected from fund companies and five fund platforms (AEGON, Fidelity, Hargreaves Lansdown, Quilter and Transact) where they are the ISA provider. Fund business through other ISA providers such as wealth managers is not included. The Investment Association’s figures cover about three-quarters of the whole of the market for funds held in ISAs.

The Investment Association's figures for fund sales cover retail and institutional sales in authorised unit trusts and open ended investment companies (OEICs) provided by our membership to UK investors. The figures do not include investment trusts and ETFs.

Each month small revisions to figures have been made since the previous press release. This reflects additional information received by the Investment Association.

IA data on responsible investments has been collected using the IA's Responsible Investment Framework. Responsible investment incorporates firm-level and fund-level components. The data presented here is at the fund level where funds are pursuing one or more of the following responsible investment approaches and this approach is referenced in the fund documentation: exclusions; sustainability focus; impact investing.

Net retail sales comprise total retail sales minus repurchases (including switches between funds), thus the figures can result in a negative figure or outflow.

* Regional breakdown for equity funds

The following Investment Association sectors have been grouped together to compile the figures for regional equity sales:

Stats table

Direct Channels

Direct includes sales forces and tied agents, private clients and other direct to investor sales without intermediation.

About the Investment Association (IA):

  • The IA champions UK investment management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 250 members manage £8.5 trillion of assets and the investment management industry supports 113,000 jobs across the UK.
  • Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for the economy, so everyone prospers.
  • Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
    • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
    • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
    • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
    • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
  • The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages 37% of all assets managed in Europe.