Hargreaves Lansdown Group  

Hargreaves reins in costs

Hargreaves reins in costs

Hargreaves Lansdown has announced it will remain "watchful" of its costs as the company seeks to moderate its rate of investment amid an environment of "political uncertainty".

In a statement to the market today (October 10) the wealth manager said following a period of "elevated investment" in people, digital marketing and technology in recent years it was now "deliberately moderating" its rate of expenditure. 

Hargreaves Lansdown said its investment throughout 2017 and 2018 had been validated by an increased marketshare, net new business flows and net new clients, with 35,000 customers joining the firm in the three months to September this year. 

The company said: "Whilst we anticipate that costs will typically be aligned to client number growth, we are mindful of the external market environment, and hence remain watchful on costs despite the client and revenue growth experienced during the period." 

In today's update the wealth manager announced net new business of £1.7bn during three months to September, up from £1.3bn in the same period last year, including £900m in direct back book transfers from J.P. Morgan and Baillie Gifford. 

But Hargreaves Lansdown, which now has 1,260,000 active clients, warned it had seen new business in the period being impacted by "weak investor sentiment arising from continuing Brexit and political uncertainty in the UK and wider global macro issues such as trade tariffs". 

Net revenues at the company were up by 6 per cent on last year's figures, growing to £128m in the period compared with £121m in 2018, and assets under administration ticked up by 3 per cent to £101.8bn at the end of September. 

Chris Hill, chief executive officer at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "I'm pleased to report a solid start to our financial year for client, net new business and revenue growth.

"We continue to focus on our strategy of delivering excellent service, information and value during these continued uncertain times for our clients."

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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