UK funds continue to suffer outflows worse than financial crisis


UK funds continue to suffer outflows worse than during the global financial crisis with retail investors pulling £1bn in July, according to Investment Association figures.

However, rising markets have helped propel total funds under management to a record high of £989bn.

In June, the month the UK voted to leave the European Union, retail investors withdrew £3.5bn from UK funds, the highest ever recorded. The worst month during the global financial crisis saw £780m withdrawn.

In the UK and European equity sectors withdrawals were even higher than June.

The UK All Companies sector saw £917m of outflows in July, compared to £581m in June. Outflows in Europe ex-UK was £778m, up slightly from £754m a month earlier.

Overall, equity outflows totalled £2.2bn, down slightly from £2.8bn in June, while £1.1bn poured into fixed income in July.

Net outflows almost halved to £792m compared to £1.5bn in June, although many funds have suspended trading in the period following Brexit.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “The irony is that despite large outflows from equities, rising markets have nonetheless propelled total funds under management to a record high of almost a trillion pounds.

“There was extremely negative sentiment towards markets in the immediate wake of the referendum, though the continued strong performance of stocks, combined with the Bank of England’s stimulus package, is likely to result in a bit more positivity in August.

“While large sums have clearly been withdrawn from equity funds, the yields on offer from bonds and cash are pretty crummy right now, and for long term investors the stock market at least gives them a fighting chance of beating inflation.’