Decline in investor confidence impacts Hargreaves Lansdown
New business has declined by 23 per cent at financial services provider Hargreaves Lansdown following "significantly lower" investor confidence during the first quarter of its 2015 financial year.
From 1 July to 14 October 2014, the Bristol-based group attracted £970m of new business compared with £1.26bn during the first quarter of its 2014 financial year.
The group said the results "must be considered in light of prevailing conditions for investment".
It added that incentives for retail investors were not present during the quarter, due to uncertainty relating to the Scottish referendum, "concern" over Middle Eastern and Ukrainian conflicts and "unfavourable" eurozone economic data.
"Investor confidence in markets remains significantly lower. The Hargreaves Lansdown Investor Confidence Survey Index averaged 102 for the quarter compared to 119 for the same quarter last year," said chief executive Ian Gorham.
"As a result we expect client activity may be significantly skewed towards H2 2015, when traditionally the tax year end acts as an incentive to invest and in previous years up to 68 per cent of annual net new business has been gathered."
However, the group hailed its "good results in challenging investment conditions" and increased assets under administration to £44.3bn from £44.2bn.
Gorham added: "As ever, future stock market levels and investor confidence will have a significant part to play during the remainder of our financial year. However, we remain confident of growing the business further to the benefit of our clients and shareholders."