AJ Bell’s customer base swells as investors move online

Mark Johnson's picture

AJ Bell, one of the UK's largest investment platforms, has reported a 17% rise in the number of customers it has, as more investors move online.

In its first full year trading update since becoming a listed company on the London Stock Exchange, the investment firm said total customer numbers increased by 17% in the year to 232,066, with total assets under administration up 13% to £52.3 billion.

Move online 

The number of customers using its YouInvest platform increased by 34,956 to 218,169, up 19% in the year.

The FTSE 250-listed company said platform assets under management increased by 16% over the year to £44.9bn. Moreover, its advised platform assets were up 13% to £33.8bn and its direct to consumer platform assets under management were up 28% to £11.1bn.

The firm also saw underlying platform inflows, representing organic growth in the year, increase to £5.4bn, from £5.2bn

 Andy Bell, Chief Executive Officer at AJ Bell, commented: "Our first full year trading update since the IPO demonstrates the resilience of our business model. 

Unsettled markets 

During periods of unsettled markets and political uncertainty customers have a greater need for established, trustworthy businesses offering high quality service, at low cost to meet their evolving investment needs. 

“This has enabled us to continue to add customers and assets to the platform.

"Platform customer numbers continued to grow strongly, up 19% over the year and platform assets under administration increased 16%, despite a 2% fall in the FTSE All-Share. 

“Underlying platform inflows remained robust at £5.4bn and transfers from defined benefit pensions added a further £0.9bn.

"The long-term growth drivers of the platform market remain strong with customers increasingly looking to take control of their long-term savings with flexible, low-cost, online solutions. 

“This, coupled with our strong customer retention rate, positions us well to achieve our organic growth ambitions."

AJ Bell’s shares were trading 2% higher at £3.78 following the trading statement.

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