Interest in the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) has risen by 150 per cent by the start of this year, as investors seek out better returns amid ongoing economic uncertainty.
According to new research from peer-to-peer lender easyMoney, the IFISA has received the sharpest increase in Google searches since the start of 2023, when compared to other ISA products. Google has given the IFISA an ‘interest score’ of 35.5 out of 100. This represents a 150 per cent increase since January 2023.
An interest score represents interest relative to maximum search popularity for any given time and place. The score reflects a term’s popularity rather than the overall number of searches.
Read more: Future of the IFISA in doubt
As of October 2023, ‘property investment’ had the highest interest score of 67, followed by ‘tax free ISA’ with an interest score of 59.8, and then ‘stocks and shares ISA’ with a score of 52.3.
‘Lifetime ISA’ had a score of 35.8, dropping by 36.4 per cent between January and October.
‘Tax free ISA’ and innovative finance ISA’ were the only two search terms to increase in popularity, although ‘tax free ISA’ interest only grew by 7.5 per cent from the start of the year.
easyMoney suggested that the growing interest in IFISAs is due to the “turbulent” economic landscape, which has sent investors searching beyond the mainstream for inflation-beating returns.
“While high interest rates are causing great difficulty for people who want to borrow money, they’re welcome news for those looking to invest,” says Jason Ferrando, chief executive of easyMoney.
“Today’s cash ISA rates are more attractive than they’ve been in a long time, but even at their strongest, such mainstream investment options are volatile at a time when nobody really knows what’s in store for the near or distant future of our local and global economies.
“Add to this the widespread need for many people to make the most of the investment capital they have, and it’s clear why interest in IFISAs is booming as we approach the end of the year, giving everyone from first-time investors to seasoned professionals the opportunity to make great returns by sidestepping the traditional banking system.”
Read more: Fixed rate ISAs outpace variable rates