DB transfer business continues to fall for AJ Bell

Hannah Godfrey reports...

AJ Bell has once again seen defined benefit (DB) pension transfer inflows onto its advised platform decline, the latest trading update from the company revealed this morning.

In the three months ending 31 March 2019, DB pension inflows to the business stood at £200m, compared to £500m for the same period one year ago.

Last month the firm said DB transfer activity had “passed the peak point” after the market dropped some 20% in six months.

Despite the decline in DB business, total AJ Bell customer numbers increased 5% in the three months to 214,853, while total assets under administration (AUA) increased 8% to £47.7bn.

The firm’s growth during the period was primarily driven by the platform business, with platform customer numbers increasing by 10,424 – or 5% – to a record high of 200,922. Elsewhere, platform AUM increased 9% to a new high of £40.6bn.

AJ Bell chief executive officer Andy Bell (pictured) said: “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. This positions us well for an improvement in investor sentiment.”