Isas boost Q3 platform activity: Fundscape

The increased Isa allowance announced in this year’s Budget boosted transactions made through platforms in the third quarter, the chief executive of research consultancy Fundscape has said.

Commenting on platform flows for the quarter, Bella Caridade-Ferreira said: “The third quarter is traditionally the quietest of the year, mainly because of the summer holiday season.

“The new Isa allowance resulted in a strong uptick in Isa flows, but flows were subdued elsewhere.”

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PlatformGross sales in the third quarter of 2014
Hargreaves Lansdown (estimated)£2.3bn

Isas accounted for 27 per cent of net sales in the third quarter.

Net Isa sales for the year so far reached £6.67bn, compared with £4.9bn for the same period in 2013.

Total platform assets under administration reached £326.4bn for the quarter, a 19.3 per cent increase on the previous quarter.

Gross sales for the quarter were £19.4bn, up 13.6 per cent on like-for-like sales in the third quarter of 2013 but down from the £21.2bn in the previous quarter.

Net sales rose by 3.9 per cent from the third quarter of 2013, to £9.4bn, but this was 15 per cent lower than in the second quarter of 2014.

Figures also showed that flows through corporate, institutional and direct-to-consumer channels fell in the third quarter, but retail-advised flows increased.

Net sales for the D2C channel totalled £1.9bn for the quarter, compared to £2.3bn in the corporate or institutional channel and £5.2bn in the retail advised channel.

Ms Caridade-Ferreira said: “The summer holiday season and increased investor caution had an impact on two of the channels, but the retail-advised channel was able to push ahead.

“Flows tend to rise in the fourth quarter, but volatility and a more cautious investor approach could lead to lower volumes.”

The three largest platforms by assets were Cofunds, Fidelity and Hargreaves Lansdown.

Adviser view

Abi Stidworthy, financial adviser for Dorset-based Strategic Solutions Chartered Financial Planners, said: “Due to the new pension reforms there will be extra emphasis on the general public seeking financial advice, and as a result I would expect this to involve recommending even more people utilise their ISA allowances.”