YOUNG investors have been praised by a Bury savings expert for their responsible approach to child trust funds.

Child trust funds were a flagship policy of former Chancellor and Prime Minister Gordon Brown and were designed to aid social mobility.

Government vouchers worth between £250 and £500 were issued to the parents of all children born between September 2002 and January 2011.

The beneficiaries of the funds can decide their futures from the age of 16 but must be 18 before any money can be withdrawn. This has been ongoing since last September, when the first funds matured.

Peter Green, chief executive of Bury-based Healthy Investment, has applauded the fact 80 per cent of their fund accounts have gone on to be invested in adult ISAs, independent savings accounts.

He said: "We have always done our best to educate members, young and old, about the value of long-term investment, and it is heartening to see that our youngest members, in Bury and around the country, have been taking these lessons on board.

“Given the year that most 18-year-olds have just had it would be hard to blame them, when given access to a significant sum of money, for using it to buy whatever they could to brighten up their lives.

"The fact that the overwhelming majority have not done so demonstrates a maturity and long-term outlook that I can only commend, and that I hope will mark the beginning of a lifelong savings habit.”

The firm manages more than 93,000 such trust funds across the UK on behalf of their younger members.

And of the 671 which matured between September 1 last year and March 31, 80.3 per cent were transferred into an ISA.

Later child trust funds were discontinued by the Coalition Government in 2011 and replaced by Junior ISAs (JISAs) which are still free from capital gains tax and income tax but do not benefit from an initial government cash injection.

The beneficiaries of such funds can take control of their accounts from the age of 16, at which point they can choose a new provider, transfer their fund into a junior ISA or switch their investments into different funds. They cannot, however, withdraw their money before the age of 18.