March Budget ‘boosted Q2 platform sales to new level’

The March Budget may have helped propel sales on investment platforms to new levels in the second quarter, Bella Caridade-Ferreira has said.

Announcing that total platform assets under administration had risen by £14bn to £317bn in the second quarter, Ms Caridade-Ferreira, the chief executive of London-based research consultancy Fundscape, said: “The second quarter is when ISA investments reach their peak thanks to a combination of late and early-bird investors, and so it’s usually the best quarter of the year.

“However, the good news in the March 2014 Budget is likely to have boosted investor sentiment and flows even further.”

The quarter also set new records for sales levels. Gross sales for the quarter totalled £21.2bn, up 19 per cent on like-for-like sales a year before. Net sales rose by 21 per cent to £11bn.

PlatformGross sales in Q2 2014
Hargreaves Lansdown (estimate)£2.8bn

The top three platforms in terms of net sales were Fidelity, with £2.5bn, Hargreaves Lansdown, which reports figures a quarter in arrears with an estimated £1.9bn and Standard Life with £1.1bn.

In a statement, Fundscape noted that the three had performed well for different reasons, saying: “Fidelity has a strong presence across all its channels, but this quarter it was its DC pension activity that propelled it to the top of the net sales board.

“Hargreaves Lansdown continues to reign supreme in the direct-to-consumer world, while Standard Life rose to third place as a result of its core retail-advised wrap business.”

The top three platforms by gross sales were Cofunds, with £5.3bn, Fidelity with £4.2bn and Hargreaves Lansdown, which reports its figures a quarter in arrears, with an estimated £2.8bn. Ms Caridade-Ferreira added that the retail-advised channel had stayed strong, saying: “Despite the strong growth of the DC and D2C channels, sales through the retail-advised channel were robust and accounted for nearly half of all platform sales in the quarter.”


Matthew Smith, managing director of London-based Buckingham Gate Chartered Financial Planners, said: “The Budget changes have certainly helped. In many cases they have led people to just review their situation when it comes to pensions and investments and look at how they are doing.”