Record funds for Hargreaves

Hargreaves Lansdown said funds under management grew to a record £28.5bn as stock market gains helped it weather a quiet summer for the industry.

The financial services group said the figure was up £2.2bn quarter-on-quarter in the three months to September 30, while revenues also rose to an all-time high of £68.7m, up 20 per cent.

A dearth of product and fund launches over the summer, combined with poor investment appetite among retail clients, took its toll on net new business growth – at £550m, down 19 per cent on a year earlier.

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August was a particularly difficult month as the group faced tough comparatives from a year earlier when business had been boosted by a volatile stock market and the launch of Hargreaves’ upgraded stockbroking service.

Share dealing volumes also fell six per cent as a result.

But the firm’s Vantage platform – a fund and investment supermarket – saw assets under management increase to £26.7bn from £20.9bn a year earlier.

Hargreaves said trading since the summer has been more robust thanks to recent fund launches and initiatives, such as a loyalty bonus for customers of self-invested personal pensions.

It added the group will be launching an iPad app over the coming months to add to its iPhone and Android apps, which have been downloaded more than 65,500 times since launch last August.

James Hamilton, analyst at Numis Securities, said the first quarter was a “very strong performance, given that market activity was substantially down this year against the exceptional conditions seen last year”.