A surge in younger investors investing for the first time have helped push up profits at the UK’s largest investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown.
Hargreaves Lansdown reported a 10 per cent increase in pre-tax profit in the six months to December, to £188.4m, compared with the same period a year earlier.
Net new business was up 40 per cent to £3.2bn in the first half of the year.
It comes after an increase of 84,000 active clients since the end of June and the platform now boasts just under 1.5m customers.
“As our client numbers continue to grow, we are finding that younger people are taking a greater interest in investing for the future, with the average age of our clients continuing to fall,” chief executive Chris Hill said. Since 2012 the investment platform has seen the age of new clients decrease from 45 to 37.
Hill suggested that the pandemic has reinforced this trend with just under half of new sign-ups in the period aged between 30 and 54. “Many have found the time and seen the need to prioritise household savings which has enabled and led them to invest for the first time.”
With more time on their hands, investors are using Hargreaves’ mobile app and checking their investments on average 10 times per week. The platform has supported 6.5m equity trades and 113m client log-ins.
The company lifted its interim dividend by six per cent to 11.9 pence and reiterated it “remains committed to paying special dividends when sufficient excess cash and capital exist”.