AJ Bell to enter cash savings market

AJ Bell to enter cash savings market

Investment platform AJ Bell is to enter the retail cash savings market by the end of the year.

In a Q3 trading update published today (July 23), the platform announced it was preparing to launch a cash savings hub via its direct-to-consumer (D2C) platform Youinvest.

According to the platform, customers will be able to access various “competitive” notice and fixed-term savings accounts from a range of UK-authorised banks.

It said: “They will be able to apply for multiple accounts quickly and easily, with no paperwork, and manage their cash savings via one online account that sits alongside their existing AJ Bell Youinvest accounts”.

The cash savings hub will be tested with a small group of AJ Bell customers before the end of July, before its expected launch by the end of the year.

Andy Bell, chief executive officer at AJ Bell, said: "With interest rates so low, it is increasingly important that people regularly check the rates they are earning on their cash savings and consider switching accounts if they want to ensure they get a better return, but most people don't have the time or inclination to do that.

“Our new AJ Bell Cash savings hub will enable customers to manage their cash savings more effectively without having to go through lengthy, paper-based application processes each time they open a new account, whilst ensuring they benefit from FSCS protection”.

Meanwhile AJ Bell reported an increase in customer numbers in the past 12 months to 282,619, up 26 per cent annually and 8 per cent in the quarter to June. Total net inflows in the quarter stood at £1.2bn.

Total assets under administration also increased to £54.3bn, up 7 per cent over the past 12 months and 12 per cent in the quarter.

According to AJ Bell, customer growth and “strong” net inflows during the quarter had been driven by its platform business.

Advised platform customers reached 106,335, up 11 per cent on the past year, while its D2C platform numbers saw a bigger boost of 41 per cent, to 162,109 customers.

Additionally, it reported a 30 per cent increase in platform underlying net inflows in the quarter when compared with the previous year, with inflows reaching £1.3bn plus £0.2bn from DB transfers.

D2C platform underlying net inflows accounted for the majority (£0.8bn), which saw a 60 per cent increase on the prior year. Advised platform underlying net inflows stood at £0.5bn, in line with the previous year.

Mr Bell commented: "Markets have rebounded from the lows seen in the previous quarter but remain volatile and this has helped increase the value of assets under administration and customer trading volumes.

“Our focus throughout the Covid-19 crisis has been on ensuring we are here for customers and advisers when they need us and this has translated into strong net inflows onto the platform and continued strong organic growth in new customers.”