More than 60,000 customers joined the AJ Bell platform over the past year, bringing its customer numbers to 281,000 and marking a record total.
A trading update, published this morning (October 22), showed the platform’s customer numbers had increased by 62,925 in the year to September 30, up 29 per cent year-on-year.
Advised customers accounted for 10,850 of the increase, with the total number of advised clients up 11 per cent to 108,900, while direct to consumer numbers increased by 52,000 and were up 43 per cent in the year.
Chief executive Andy Bell put the increase down to the firm’s “easy to use platform” and its “focus on the needs of customers”.
He added: “We are pleased to report another year of strong growth in customers and assets under administration, delivered against a continuing backdrop of extreme market volatility and significant disruption to people’s lives caused by Covid-19.”
The platform’s assets under administration closed at £49.7bn as at September 30, up 11 per cent year-on-year, as the FTSE All Share index fell 19 per cent in the same time period.
AJ Bell also reported net inflows of £4.9bn in the year — up from £4.3bn last year — and defined benefit inflows accounted for £800m of the net inflows, like-for-like with the £900m recorded for the same period in 2019.
Including non-platform business, the group’s assets under administration was up 8 per cent compared with last year, to £56.5bn.
Mr Bell said: “Our operational resilience has shone through since the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK and we were able to adapt quickly to ensure we continued to meet the needs of customers and advisers.
“We continued to enhance our platform propositions this year as part of our growth strategy.”
At the start of the year, the platform launched a retirement investment account — a pension offering with one simple charge which tapers down from 0.25 per cent per year with no additional charges for administration, drawdown, custody or dealing.
In today’s results, Mr Bell said this had been “very popular” with financial advisers.
More recently, the firm entered the retail cash savings market, providing its retail customers with access to various “competitive” notice and fixed-term savings accounts from a range of banks.
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