AJ Bell shares tumble as inflows fall to under £1bn despite rise in customers
Shares in trading firm AJ Bell slumped today as the firm said the flow of cash onto its platform dipped in the final three months of the year despite a rise in customers.
In a trading update on the the first quarter of its financial year, the FTSE 250 firm said that inflows onto its platform came in at £0.8bn for the period, a slide from £1.4bn in the same period last year.
The firm said the amount of customers on its platform rose two per cent in the quarter to close at 434,364, however, a 13 per cent uptick on numbers last year. Total assets under administration fell 2.6 per to £66.3 bn on December 31 from £68.1bn a year before.
The announcement sent shares down beyond seven per cent in early trading.
AJ Bell was among a host of retail trading firms to notch bumper growth through the pandemic as part-time traders poured into the market through the pandemic. Growth in retail trading has since slowed however as the cost of living crunch hits consumers.
New chief Michael Summersgill, who took over the reins in October, said it had been a solid start to the year as the firm attracted new customers and assets across the advised and direct-to-consumer market.
“Whilst high inflation has inevitably squeezed household finances, we delivered £0.8bn of net inflows to the platform during the quarter,” he said.
“This performance demonstrates the value of our dual-channel business model which enables us to capture customer and asset growth from across the whole platform market.”
AJ Bell said that its investment management had swelled over past of the year, with assets ticking up one per cent to £3.4bn, up 62 per cent on last year.