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Rathbone warns of uncertain year ahead

RATHBONE Brothers has warned that the year ahead would be unpredictable with an election ahead and low interest rates.

The wealth manager said pre-tax profit from continuing operations last year fell 30 per cent to £29.5m from £42.3m.

It said its bottom line was badly hit by a drop in net interest income, as low base rates make it difficult to benefit from interest income on client deposits.

Net interest income fell by more than 40 per cent.

Total funds under management grew by 25 per cent during 2009, fuelled by rising markets but held back by a net withdrawal of client money from the unit trust business.

The company said that in 2011 it reap the rewards of a deal last year to buy fund assets from Lloyds Banking Group.

Chairman Mark Powell said in the statement. “The outlook for 2010 remains uncertain as the U.K. faces an environment of exceptionally low interest rates and a general election.”