LONDON - Fears are growing in the unit trust industry that it is on the verge of losing billions of pounds worth of business because the UK's new core tax shelter for private investors, the Individual Savings Account or Isa, is so complicated. Unit trusts are the British version of mutual funds.

A simple slip-up by investors will reduce the amount they can invest in unit trusts by GBP3,000 annually (about U.S. $4,900). One of the UK's largest unit trust groups, M&G, has warned that investors could potentially lock themselves out of GBP36 billion (U.S. $58.3 billion) of tax free stock market investments in the tax year 1999-00.

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