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DB transfer dip drives down AJ Bell adviser inflows

AJ Bell was the latest platform to report lower defined benefit pension transfer inflows in the first three months of 2019

DB transfer dip drives down AJ Bell adviser inflows

A fall in the amount of defined benefit (DB) pension transfer money meant AJ Bell's advised inflows fell to £600 million in the first three months of 2019.  

Platforms have reported falling inflows from DB transfers over the last 12 months after seeing large amounts in 2017. 

Earlier in April, Quilter said its DB transfer inflows were down £400 million on a year-on-year basis, while in 2018 James Hay said a fall in the number of new clients it was attracting was down to a 'slowdown' in DB transfers

A trading update published this morning revealed AJ Bell was the latest platform to see transfer inflows drop. Between January and March this year it saw £200 million of inflows from DB transfers onto its advised platform at the start of this year, down from £500 million in the same period in 2018. 

As a result, net inflows onto the advised platform fell from £1 billion at the beginning of 2018 to £600 million this year. In contrast, net inflows onto AJ Bell's direct-to-consumer platform were worth £400 million in both 2018 and 2019. Total net inflows for the first three months of 2019 were £1 billion, compared to £1.4 billion last year. 

Despite the dip in DB transfer inflows, assets under administration on AJ Bell's platform increased from £37.3 billion at the start of January to £40.6 billion at the end of March, as strong markets helped add an extra £2.3 billion to clients' platform assets. 

AJ Bell also added 10,424 clients to its platform in the trading quarter between January and March, taking its total client numbers to a 'record' 200,922.

Andy Bell (pictured), chief executive of AJ Bell, said the company expected 'to be slightly ahead of current market expectations' when it announces interim results next month.

'Trading in the second quarter of our financial year remained robust despite continued weak investor sentiment. We continued to attract new customers and assets to our platform, with both measures hitting new highs during the period,' he said. 

Read more: IFAs pull out of DB transfer market as insurers spooked by FOS rise

PruFunds picked for 13,000 DB transfers since pension freedoms

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