The prospect of a British exit from the European Union prompted an exodus of UK retail investors from platforms in the first quarter of this year, new data indicates.
The Fundscape Platform report, which details platform flows, shows sales dropped 7% in Q1 year-on-year. Isa sales have fallen even more precipitously, by 40% on a net basis, compared to Q1 2015, and were the lowest for a first quarter since 2012. Standard Life was the only platform to receive net flows in excess of £1 billion (€1.3 billion).
Nevertheless, total gross platform sales in Q1 represent an increase on Q4 last year. Overall, gross sales reached £21.2 billion, but panicked outflows more than halved that total, to £9.4 billion net. This is the first time since Q3 2014 that sales have fallen below £10 billion.
Fundscape chief executive Bella Caridade-Ferreira said retail investment activity in the UK is likely to remain muted until the second half of 2016 at least. The referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU will be held June 23.
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