Hargreaves Lansdown Results Show Brexit Fears
The UK financial services group Hargreaves Lansdown has warned that investor confidence in the U.K has declined as a result of the uncertainty over the Brexit. The referendum in Britain is scheduled to be held in June this year and will ask voters to choose between remaining in the European Union and leaving it.
The latest results from Hargreaves Lansdown show a decline in the inflow of funds for the first four months of the year. Results show that investor’s have added fresh investment of around £2.3 billion to their portfolios with Hargreaves which was a drop from the £2.75 billion invested in same period during the previous year. This is the traditional period for investments in the U.K as customers open Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) for the new financial year.
In a statement, Ian Gorham, chief executive, said
Hargreaves Lansdown continues to maintain its market leading position as the most popular destination for UK retail investors, with strong new business and client growth for the period notwithstanding a challenging ISA season for the industry in the context of volatile market conditions, low investor confidence and 25% of investors quoting current uncertainty over EU membership as reducing their propensity to invest.
Hargreaves however saw an increase in the value of assets it managed. Total assets moved up by 9 percent since January this year to £60.3 billion. The assets managed under its popular low cost product Vantage increased by 3 percent to £57.4 billion for the period ending April 30 as compared to the £55.9 billion reported at the end of December.
Vantage is primarily used by investors to manage their investments into ISAs and self-invested pension plans (SIPPs).The number of clients under the plan for the first four months of the year declined marginally to 38,000 from 40,000 reported during the same period in 2015. Overall the firm took on 107,000 new clients which brought the total number of its investors to 822,000.
The shares of Hargreaves Lansdown dropped marginally after the announcement of results, falling by 1.6 percentduring early trading in London. The investment trend from Hargreaves reflects the larger sentiment of concern in the UK’s financial markets. A survey conducted monthly by Bank of America Merrill Lynch on fund managers showed a sharp drop in investments in UK equities, which made it the lowest since November 2008.
The survey revealed that the fund managers consider Brexit as the highest risk factor for investment into UK despite a majority of them, seven in 10 believing that the country would not vote to leave the EU.
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