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Stocks and shares ISAs: consultation

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HM Treasury is consulting on a proposal to widen the range of shares eligible to be held in a stocks and shares individual savings account or ISA, to include markets with a component of smaller company shares.

Last December’s autumn statement said the government would consult on expanding the list of qualifying investments to include shares traded on SME equity markets such as the Alternative Investment Market. The policy could lead to an important capital injection for such markets and encourage more investment in growing businesses, the Treasury said today.

The assets that can be held in a stocks and shares ISA are specified in the Individual Savings Accounts Regulations, SI 1998/1870.

‘Access to finance for smaller growing companies is key to promoting private investment and delivering a sustainable economic recovery,’ said economic secretary Sajid Javid. ‘The government wants to ensure that businesses, particularly small businesses, are able to access finance and support, and this change has the potential to help provide that access while offering consumers greater choice in what they can hold in their ISA.’

Comments are invited by 8 May and the government expects to publish draft regulations in the summer.