AJ Bell reports customer numbers up 21% over the year in Q2 trading statement

AJ Bell plc, one of the UK’s largest investment platforms, today issues a trading update in respect of the three months ended 31 March 2022.

Performance overview

Total customer numbers increased to 418,309, up 21% over the last year and 5% in the quarter, with total net inflows in the quarter of £1.5 billion.

Total assets under administration (“AUA”) closed at £74.1 billion, up 14% over the last year but down 2% in the quarter due to adverse market and other movements of 4%. During the quarter the FTSE All-Share Index fell by 0.5% whilst the MSCI World Index fell by 5.5%.

The customer growth and net inflows delivered in Q2 once again evidence the resilience of the AJ Bell business model across different market conditions. The comparative quarter last year was exceptionally strong as consumers invested excess cash savings built up during Covid lockdowns, whereas this year they have been faced with increased market uncertainty caused by factors including inflationary pressure on the cost of living and the war in Ukraine.

Despite the challenging market backdrop, the AJ Bell platform has continued to attract and retain high quality customers, with over three-quarters of new accounts being tax-advantaged pensions or ISAs and platform customer retention remaining high at 95%.

Platform business

Customer numbers increased by 20,109 in the quarter to close at 403,383, up 21% in the last year and 5% in the quarter
 o   Advised customers of 137,201, up 16% in the last year and 4% in the quarter

o   D2C customers of 266,182, up 25% in the last year and 6% in the quarter

AUA closed at £66.9 billion, up 15% in the last year and down 2% in the quarter
Gross inflows in the quarter of £2.7 billion (2021: £2.8 billion)
Net inflows in the quarter of £1.6 billion (2021: £1.8 billion)

AJ Bell Investments

Assets under management (“AUM”) closed at £2.3 billion, up 64% over the last year and up 10% in the quarter
Net inflows in the quarter were £223 million (2021: £311 million)

Andy Bell, Chief Executive Officer at AJ Bell, commented:

“Our dual-channel platform, serving the growing advised and D2C platform markets, attracted over 20,000 new customers and significant net inflows during Q2 despite weakened investor sentiment. In the last year we have grown platform customer numbers by 21% and platform AUA by 15%, demonstrating the strength of our business model across different market conditions.

“Although our D2C customers invested slightly less via our platform than in the comparative period as they assess the impact of the rising cost of living, net inflows to our advised platform remained on par with last year, which was a strong comparative. Net platform inflows of £1.6 billion is an encouraging result given the uncertain market backdrop.

“Our in-house investment solutions remain popular across our platform propositions and continued to perform strongly, delivering net inflows of £223 million during the quarter. Our first five multi-asset funds recently passed their fifth anniversary, an important performance milestone particularly for advisers. Performance of all five funds was in the top 30% when compared against their peer groups, with four being in the top quintile. Since launching these funds in 2017 we have shared the benefits of our increasing scale with customers, reducing the Ongoing Charges Figure from 50bps to 31bps during that time.

“This week we launched a new investing app called Dodl by AJ Bell which expands our offering to DIY investors. It offers all the main tax wrappers and a simplified investment range to help people select funds and shares for their portfolio. With an annual charge of just 0.15% and no commission for buying or selling investments, Dodl is a low-cost proposition perfectly suited to individuals who want an easy way to invest for their future. We believe it will be particularly attractive to the 8.6m adults in the UK who hold more than £10,000 of investible assets in cash, especially in the current climate of rising inflation where cash savings are being eroded in real terms due to the low interest rates available.

“The launch of Dodl in the consumer market will be complemented by the launch of Touch by AJ Bell, our simplified platform currently being developed for the advised market. These developments will broaden our reach in both the advised and D2C segments, keeping us at the forefront of the platform market and positioning us well to continue gaining market share.”

Notice of interim results

AJ Bell expects to announce its full results for the six months ended 31 March 2022 on Thursday 26 May 2022.


Three months ended

31 March 2022

Advised PlatformD2C PlatformTotal PlatformNon-platform 


Opening customers131,610251,664383,27414,792398,066
Closing customers137,201266,182403,38314,926418,309
AUA and AUM (£billion)     
Opening AUA47.520.668.17.575.6
Net inflows/(outflows)
Market and other movements(3)(1.9)(0.9)(2.8)(0.2)(3.0)
Closing AUA46.520.466.97.274.1
Closing AUM1.40.92.3(4)2.3
Three months ended

31 March 2021

Advised PlatformD2C PlatformTotal PlatformNon-platform 


Opening customers112,308185,745298,05314,256312,309
Closing customers118,509213,767332,27614,521346,797
AUA and AUM (£billion)     
Opening AUA39.715.555.27.362.5
Net inflows/(outflows)
Market and other movements(3)
Closing AUA41.116.958.07.265.2
Closing AUM0.80.61.4(4)1.4


(1) Transfers-in, subscriptions, contributions and tax relief

(2) Transfers-out, cash withdrawals, benefits and tax payments

(3) Total investment returns and revaluations, net of charges and taxes

(4) Platform AUA which is held in AJ Bell’s Funds or Managed Portfolio Service

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