Hargreaves Lansdown flows plummet as FSCS levy jumps

Hargreaves Lansdown saw net inflows fall 16 per cent in the first four months of the year, after struggling with choppy markets, while it set aside an extra £1m for Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) levies.

The firm reported net inflows of £2.3bn, falling 16 per cent between January and April this year from £2.75bn reported over the same period in 2015, according to a trading update published on 19 May.

Chief executive Ian Gorham blamed the decline in the markets at the start of the year for the £800,000 decline in new business inflows for the company’s execution-only platform Vantage.

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However, platform assets also jumped to £55.9bn in April 2016, from £57.4bn in the previous year.

As a whole, Hargreaves’ assets stood at £60.3bn in the first four months of the year, compared to £55.3bn in 2015.

The group also said it expected to pay a levy of £5.5m to the FSCS, up from the £4.6m it paid in 2015.

Mr Gorham said strong new business and client growth continued for the period, despite a challenging Isa season for the industry amid volatile market conditions, low investor confidence and uncertainty over EU membership.

The number of Vantage clients jumped to 813,000 at the end of April 2016, an increase of 38,000 over the four months from 775,000 as at the end of last year.

This comes after Hargreaves announced it was taking on thousands of Isa clients in the light of Legg Mason deciding to withdraw from offering its savings product.