Hargreaves Lansdown has seen client intake slow and revenues drop in what is typically the firm’s “quietest quarter”.
In Hargreaves’s quarterly trading update today (October 15), it said it had welcomed some 23,000 customers in the three months to September but this was down on the same period last year when 31,000 joined, and active clients now stood at 1,667,000.
Net new business amounted to £1.3bn for the period, up from £0.8bn in Q3 2020 and driven by higher client numbers, ongoing wealth consolidation on to its platform and flows into active savings.
But revenue for the period fell 1 per cent on last year, from £143.7m to £142.2m.
Hargreaves said the figures were “a pleasing result” given the seasonal quieter summer period and the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The firm reported that around 84,000 customers joined in the latter half of 2020 as the platform continued to cash in on the coronavirus crisis-induced trading boom.
Chris Hill, chief executive officer, said: "Today we report a good start to our financial year, with continued growth in clients and assets in what is typically our quietest quarter. The client retention rate remains solid at 92.6 per cent and we continue to see new clients build wealth, diversify holdings and engage with the proposition.
“These results are against the backdrop of an easing out of lockdown and ongoing market uncertainty and highlight the importance of a resilient business and the strength of our proposition.
“The normalisation of revenues post pandemic is in line with our expectations and our focus, as always, remains on our clients, and their lifelong needs."
Hargreaves also reported that assets under administration were up 2 per cent on last year and stood at £138bn as at September 30, 2021.
But share dealing volumes declined post Covid lockdowns and across the quarter averaged 861,000 deals per month versus 980,000 in the quarter last year and 479,000 the year before.
Hill said: "We are confident that our client focused strategy, delivering the highest level of service and continuing to invest in our market leading proposition, means that we continue to be well positioned to execute against the growth opportunity ahead of us.
"I look forward to providing more detail with my executive team at a capital markets day in Q1 2022."
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