St James's Place  

SJP profits and inflows hit as Croft hits out at FSCS

SJP profits and inflows hit as Croft hits out at FSCS

Inflows and profits at St James's Place were hit during 2020 but the company continued to see its overall funds under management and adviser numbers grow.

The FTSE 100 company has published its full year results for 2020, a year which saw considerable market turbulence and business disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

SJP's profits for 2020 were £919m, down from £952m in 2019, while net inflows were £8.2bn, down from £9bn the year before.

But the company's funds under management still grew to £129bn, while its adviser numbers grew by 1.6 per cent to 4,338.

SJP's chief executive, Andrew Croft, said the company took "deliberate actions" which naturally resulted in lower growth during 2020, such as slowing recruitment and pausing intakes into its academy.

He added: "Our operations and performance during 2020 were inevitably disrupted by the lockdowns and social distancing.

"However, amidst this most challenging of years, I am very pleased to report that our business has demonstrated real resilience and made further progress, supported by our engagement with our clients, our recent major investment in technology platforms, and the agility of our advisers and employees."

The company has set itself the goal of reaching funds under management of £200bn by the end of 2025.

Once again, SJP criticised the Financial Services Compensation Scheme levy it would have to pay, with its bill for the FSCS 33 per cent higher during 2020, at £36.7m.

Mr Croft said: "Whilst we continue to support an industry safety net for consumers, the increasing size of the levy is a real concern and source of frustration.

"Good companies are having to continue to fund a significant cost over which they have no control or influence."

SJP also confirmed it would be cutting 200 jobs over the course of 2021 following a review of its "strategic priorities".

Mr Croft said this would remove the "duplication of work" and stopping tasks which are now no longer needed.

He said: "We hope, however, that a combination of filling vacant roles across the business and a voluntary redundancy programme in appropriate areas, will mitigate the number of individuals impacted by this difficult decision."

During 2020 SJP also completed the decommissioning of its old back-office technology following its move to the Bluedoor platform in 2019.

damian.fantato@ft.com