12 May From boom to bust for platforms in Q122
This time last year we thought we had the worst behind us and were on the cusp of the roaring twenties. How wrong we were. Putin’s war on Ukraine, rampant inflation and the cost-of-living crisis have all stymied progress. Most major indices were down quarter on quarter, so it was no surprise that platform industry assets fell by 2.5% to £906.8bn compared to December 2021. True Potential was the only platform to record asset growth in the first three months of 2022. The adviser platform channel was home to a similar decline with assets shrinking from £581.3bn to £568.2bn.
So, what of flows? These weren’t pretty either. There was a substantial drop in flows against previous quarters that was driven by very weak ISA flows. D2C platforms were more affected by the change in sentiment and fall in ISA sales, but both AJ Bell and Aviva managed to buck the trend and topped the all-channel net sales table. Overall, it was a tough trading quarter and it failed to deliver the usual strong start to the year for many platforms.
For adviser platforms, gross and net sales were £20.2bn and £9.5bn —only slightly higher than the previous quarter’s and down on Q121’s figures by 7% and 14.4% respectively. Again, two platforms bucked the trend. Quilter was home to its best quarterly gross sales, beating all other adviser platforms, and its net sales were the best in four years. Transact was also in fine fettle with its second-best quarter on record for both gross and net sales and regaining the top spot for adviser net sales.
Bella Caridade-Ferreira, CEO of Fundscape said, ‘This dip in markets, sentiment and disposable income isn’t going to be an easy one to bounce back from. The outlook for the rest of the year is more of the same. It will be different from 2020 when people stored cash during the pandemic and then invested it in 2021. Today there are people spending money to cover bills rather than investing, so there won’t be a huge wall of cash waiting to be invested when the outlook eventually improves.’
Notes to Editors:
The Platform Report is a confidential report published by Fundscape. To subscribe to the report, platforms must contribute asset and sales data on a quarterly basis. For further information about the report and Fundscape, please visit www.fundscape.co.uk.
A total of 19 platforms are included in the analysis. Platform coverage is estimated at 98% of the platform universe.
1 Hargreaves Lansdown reports in arrears.
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