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Hargreaves Lansdown freezes platform fees over Woodford fund fallout

Hargreaves Lansdown will waive its platform fee for clients while the dealing of Neil Woodford’s equity income fund is suspended.

The prolific manager’s largest fund was temporarily suspended on Monday, with St James’s Place having already pulled its £3.5bn mandate with Woodford Investment Management.

Hargreaves Lansdown says it is communicating closely with clients in the wake of the suspension.

Head of investment analysis Emma Wall says: “We have taken the decision to waive the platform fee on the Woodford Equity Income fund while dealing is suspended, effective immediately. We do not think it is fair to charge our clients a fee while they cannot trade in the fund.

“This is a frustrating and difficult time for clients and we are doing what we can to support them.

“We have been in communication with Woodford Investment Management to explain why we think this is the right thing to do and have put pressure on them to do the same.”

Trading record show Hargreaves’ head of research Mark Dampier sold roughly £5m worth of Hargreaves’ shares in the company in May.

The same month, Hargreaves issued a statement attributed to Dampier that though Woodford had underperformed recently, it was remaining patient and would keep the Equity Income fund in its Wealth 50 list.

The fund is expected to be out of trading for up to a month.

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