LONDON (Reuters) - The value of customer assets on British investment platforms has tumbled more than 100 billion pounds ($115 billion) this year, as a poor economic outlook and cost-of-living crisis drive investors to cash, industry tracker Fundscape said on Thursday.
A chill has hit the sector this year after a buoyant 2021, when trading platform growth was fuelled by consumers investing a pandemic-driven savings glut and by a social media-driven meme stock frenzy which saw an army of small investors pile into shares of GameStop, AMC and other once-unfashionable companies.
Platform assets have fallen this year by 105 billion pounds, or more than 10%, to 825 billion pounds ($946.44 billion), Fundscape said.
The slide in assets partly reflected torrid market conditions, Fundscape said, adding sales also slumped to multi-year lows.
Direct-to-consumer and platforms offering advice recorded gross sales of 26.1 billion pounds ($29.94 billion) in the third quarter, their worst showing since the fourth quarter of 2016, in the aftermath of Britain's shock vote to leave the European Union.
Third-quarter net sales of 4.4 billion pounds were at their lowest since the fourth quarter of 2011.
"It will be a bumpy ride for the platform industry as the world adjusts to a new normal of higher inflation and lower disposable income," said Bella Caridade-Ferreira, CEO of Fundscape.
($1 = 0.8725 pounds)
(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn and Iain Withers; Editing by Bernadette Baum)