IMA: Fund sales at lowest levels since financial crisis

Fund sales in the third quarter were the lowest since 2008, according to Investment Management Association stats.

Net retail sales amounted to £2.6bn in the third quarter, compared with £7.5bn over the same period last year. Funds under management fell by 3 per cent to £546.7m.

Gross retail sales through fund platforms amounted to £3bn in September, representing the lowest level since February 2010.

IMA chief executive Richard Saunders (pictured) says: “Investors were cautious in their asset class choices in September, with bonds and balanced funds the best selling assets. There was a modest outflow from equities overall, although UK equity income funds continued to attract investors.”

The UK corporate bond sector was the bestselling in September, with net retail sales of £216m representing the highest level since September 2010. The sector has witnessed a recent surge in interest, taking it from the ninth most popular in August to the number one position in September.

UK equity income remained unchanged from August as the second most popular sector in September, as did cautious managed in its position as the third bestselling.

UK gilts also saw a surge in interest. Although only the fifth bestselling sector, net retail sales of £111m amounted to the highest for the sector since December 2008.

Outflows were largely concentrated in the equity sectors as a consequence of the uncertainty regarding the eurozone’s ability to address the ongoing sovereign debt crisis.

Equity funds saw net outflows of £175m, marking the second largest monthly outflow since February 2009.

The Asia pacific excluding Japan sector had the largest net outflows in September at £164m, followed by Europe excluding UK with £92m, North America with £78m and UK all companies with £65m.