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The lang cat finds platform assets fall despite resilient advised flows

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In volatile markets, total platform assets across all platforms in Q1 2022 fell by -2.66 per cent on Q4 2021 values, while advised platform assets performed slightly better (-2.42 per cent), according to the lang cat’s latest quarterly Platform Market Scorecard. 

In terms of sales, gross flows across all channels were down -21.89 per cent on Q4 2021’s totals, while net sales are down -44.68 per cent, indicating outflows have risen across the market. 

Advised platforms continued their bumper 2021 into 2022, with gross sales still north of GBP20 billion (GBP21.15 billion) as they have been for the past five quarters in a row. Advised net sales saw a modest improvement of 2.81 per cent on the previous quarter thanks to continued strong platform sales and signs of recovery for the likes of James Hay and Ascentric.

Rich Mayor, senior analyst at the lang cat, comments: “In the face of strong economic headwinds in the cost-of-living crisis, interest and inflationary rises, ISA and pensions gross sales were only a smidge down from the same totals as last year. 

Around two-thirds of total platform gross sales came from advisers, but advised net sales formed just shy of 90 per cent of the total net sales. This indicates that while outflows have increased, it is focused in other channels such as D2C, proving the value of advisers in reassuring clients and staving off snap decisions to sell at potentially the worst time.

“However, the collective tightening of belts because of sharp interest rate and inflation rises that show no sign of stopping will have a significant effect on platform flows throughout the year. We suspect that after the second quarter of 2022, which is historically focused on using the current year’s product allowances, we’ll see platform flows fall for the rest of the year. This will likely start with the additional energy charge cap rise in October which will strain households even further. 

“Though we’re all looking towards the summer, these headwinds mean it’s likely to be a tough autumn and even tougher winter for the sector.” 

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