Harrow savers schooled in ISAs

Average ISA balance per person in Harrow is the highest anywhere in the UK

31 January 2015

Savers in Harrow have the highest average ISA balance in the UK, according to data1 from Nationwide Building Society, one of the country’s largest savings providers. The average saver in Harrow has £15,476 saved in the Society’s ISA accounts. Harrow is one of only two areas in the UK where Nationwide savers have an average ISA balance of more than £15,000, the current annual ISA allowance, although this will increase to £15,240 from 6 April. Kirkwall in North East Scotland is the other area (average ISA balance: £15,442).

Greater London and the South East dominate
Harrow is one of 10 areas in Greater London and the wider South East that are in Nationwide’s top 20 areas by average ISA balance [see Table 1]. Bromley and Ilford are the only areas where customers have on average between £14,000 and £15,000 saved in Nationwide ISAs. Kingston-upon-Thames, St Albans, Twickenham, Slough, Watford and Hemel Hempstead are also in the top 20 with customers having an average ISA balance of more than £13,000.

Scottish savers
Nationwide’s data also shows that Scottish savers appear to be making the most of their ISA allowance with seven areas in Scotland featuring in the Society’s top 20 average ISA balances table. Kirkwall in North East Scotland leads the way with customers in that area having on average £15,442 saved in the Nationwide ISA accounts. Edinburgh, Dumfries & Galloway, Perth, Aberdeen and Kirkcaldy are the other Scottish areas where the average ISA balance exceeds £13,000. Galashiels makes the top 20 with customers there saving an average of £12,980 in ISAs.

Bournemouth is a top performer
Bournemouth is one of only three areas outside of the London, South East and Scotland regions to make it into the ISA balance top 20. With customers there having an average ISA balance of £13,074, Bournemouth has the 14th highest average ISA balance in the country. Carlisle and Dorchester are the other two areas to feature with people there saving on average £12,966 and £12,860 respectively in the Society’s ISAs.

Mixed situation in the rest of the UK
At the other end of the spectrum, the Society’s data shows that South Wales (Cardiff and Newport), East (apart from the Ilford area) and South East London and Rochester are the areas with the lowest average ISA balance [see Table 2]. Savers there have on average £10,000 and £10,500 in Nationwide ISAs. While the highest balances are concentrated in three main areas, the lowest balance areas are spread across the country and include areas such as Canterbury, Manchester, Hull, Truro, Nottingham and Birmingham.

Richard Napier, Nationwide’s divisional director for savings, comments: “It is good to see that savers across the country are making the most of their tax-free ISA allowance because there are very few opportunities to ‘beat the tax man’ these days.

“According to our own internal data, it is savers in Greater London, the South East and Scotland that are really making the most of their ISA allowance with the average ISA balance in these regions higher than anywhere else in the UK.

“With the annual allowance increasing to £15,240 in April, we would hope to see those average balances increase over the next 12 months. There are a number of easy ways for consumers to save in ISAs with Nationwide. Whether they are looking to save regularly or in a lump sum, short or long-term, in a cash or stocks and shares ISA, we can offer information and advice to help people make their savings and investments work harder.”

Notes to Editors
1 All figures are drawn from internal Nationwide Building Society data and are based upon amounts saved in the Society’s cash ISA accounts. Postal areas/cities containing fewer than 1,000 Nationwide customers have been excluded.

Table 1: 20 UK postal areas with the biggest average ISA balance per customer

20 UK postal areas with the biggest average ISA balance per customer
  Postal area (town/city) Average balance per customer in Nationwide ISAs
1 HA (Harrow) £15,476
2 KW (Kirkwall) £15,442
3 BR (Bromley) £14,443
4 IG (Ilford) £14,039
5 KT (Kingston-upon-Thames) £13,828
6 EH (Edinburgh) £13,678
7 DG (Dumfries & Galloway) £13,617
8 AL (St Albans) £13,549
9 PH (Perth) £13,520
10 TW (Twickenham) £13,437
11 AB (Aberdeen) £13,410
12 SL (Slough) £13,169
13 WD (Watford) £13,165
14 BH (Bournemouth) £13,074
15 HP (Hemel Hempstead) £13,055
16 KY (Kirkcaldy) £12,984
17 TD (Galashiels) £12,980
18 SM (Sutton) £12,978
19 CA (Carlisle) £12,966
20 DT (Dorchester) £12,860

Table 2: 20 UK postal areas with the lowest average ISA balance per customer

20 UK postal areas with the lowest average ISA balance per customer
  Postal area (town/city) Average balance per customer in Nationwide ISAs
1 E (East London) £10,182
2 SE (South East London) £10,192
3 CF (Cardiff) £10,403
4 NP (Newport) £10,448
5 ME (Rochester) £10,472
6 LS (Leeds) £10,597
7 NN (Northampton) £10,612
8 M (Manchester) £10,700
9 TR (Truro) £11,078
10 BB (Blackburn) £11,112
11 B (Birmingham) £11,124
12 NG (Nottingham) £11,129
13 HX (Halifax) £11,170
14 SN (Swindon) £11,173
15 PL (Plymouth) £11,231
16 ML (Motherwell) £11,270
17 HU (Hull) £11,273
18 MK (Milton Keynes) £11,276
19 CT (Canterbury) £11,318
20 BD (Bradford) £11,348

About Nationwide

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

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