Hargreaves Lansdown said it is ‘neutral’ on the European debate with one of its founders at the centre of an aggressive Brexit campaign.
Peter Hargreaves (pictured) penned a signed letter to 15 million householders last week urging them to vote to leave Europe at the referendum, schedule for 23 June.
In the leaflet Hargreaves said he felt let down by the 1975 referendum, which led the UK to sign up for the EU free trade area.
’I voted to stay in because I thought a free trade area was a good idea. Wiser heads warned it meant something more and have been proved correct,' he said.
‘I am opposed to political union and it will only get worse if we stay. If the campaign is united then I believe we will vote to leave the EU.’
In the week before Hargreaves had said a Brexit would be an ‘absolute fillip’ for the UK in an interview on the Today programme.
In a statement issued over the Easter weekend, Hargreaves Lansdown moved to put some distance between itself and its founder’s stance.
It said it had issued the statement after receiving calls from a number of people wishing to speak to Peter Hargreaves.
‘Peter Hargreaves is no longer an employee or director of Hargreaves Lansdown. He is entitled to his personal opinion, however he does not speak for, or represent Hargreaves Lansdown or its directors,’ the Hargreaves Lansdown statement read.
It added: ‘Hargreaves Lansdown is not taking a position and will remain neutral in this debate.
‘Whilst we will always speak up in the interests of savers and investors, we regard the referendum as a political matter and therefore one for the British people to decide.’