Chinese concerns and Brexit fears spooked the stock markets and sent retail investors scurrying for cover in the first quarter. Stock markets have since been home to a modest recovery, but with the Brexit referendum approaching fast, investors are putting some investments on hold.
According to the Fundscape Platform Report, despite volatile markets and stock market growth of 1% in the first three months of the year, platform assets under administration rose by 3% (£13bn) to £415bn. Gross platform sales in Q1 totalled £21.2bn, marginally higher than sales in Q415, but down 7% on the first quarter of 2015. With investors running scared, the net sales total slipped below £10bn (£9.4bn) for the first time since Q314.
New style ISAs, pension reform and an improving UK economy set the scene for a good start to the third quarter of the year for platforms. July was a bumper month, but the summer holiday season, growing economic uncertainty and the Scottish vote eventually took their toll on the quarter’s flows.
Total platform assets under administration rose by £9.7bn to £326.4bn, a rise of 3.2% on the previous quarter, but 19.3% on the third quarter of 2013. Gross sales for the first three months of the year totalled £19.4bn, up 13.6% on like-for-like sales in 2013, but down on last quarter’s £21.2bn. It was the same for net sales, which rose by 3.9% to £9.4bn relative to the third quarter of 2013, but were down 15% quarter on quarter.