After significant falls in Q1, stock markets began to level out at the end of March... just in time for the last two weeks of the ISA season. By the close of Q218, the UK stock market had recovered most of its lost ground, with the FTSE 100 and FTSE All Share rebounding by 8% and performing better than most major stock markets in Q2.
On the back of this upturn, platform assets rose by £32bn to £604bn, smashing through the £600bn level for the first time on industry records. Hargreaves Lansdown registered the most growth in cash terms, with assets rising to £92bn. Meanwhile Cofunds’s assets stand at a remarkable £96bn. If markets continue to rise at a similar pace, it should be the first £100bn+ platform in the UK in Q318.
The first half of 2016 was challenging for fund groups and platforms alike. The stock market correction eased up as the second quarter began — in time for last-minute ISA activity — but Brexit scared off many investors who chose to hold off until after the referendum. Only pension flows broadly maintained their momentum.
According to the Fundscape Platform Report, as a result of investors switching and taking shelter in cash and safe products, gross flows for the quarter swelled to £24bn (£22bn in Q116), but net sales fell to £9.57bn (£9.6bn in Q116), the lowest total since Q3 2014 (£8.8bn). Bella Caridade-Ferreira, CEO of Fundscape, said “Investors lost their nerve in the final weeks before the Brexit vote and cashed out. Platforms without decent cash facilities would have felt the pain more keenly.”
It was a difficult start to the year. We know your colleagues and clients will be asking for your opinion, so it pays to have some ready facts at the ready. Our 60-second reviews will give you the main industry trends you need without overloading you.
Previously supplied by Pridham & Pridham, the fund industry 60-second quarterly reviews are now underpinned by Fundscape's extensive fund data, gathered from platforms. Click here for the fund industry review and here for the platform review.
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