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Hargreaves pulls u-turn on investment trust charges

Hargreaves pulls u-turn on investment trust charges

Hargreaves Lansdown has performed a u-turn on its plans to increase charges for customers who hold investment trusts on its platform.

'We have listened to our clients,' the company said in a statement. 'Clients will pay no more to hold investment trusts in future than they do today and in fact many will pay less and be better off.'

Following a wholesale review of its platform charges Hargreaves Lansdown last month said investors who held trusts on its platform would pay an additional charge of 0.45%.

That led to an outcry, with some Hargreaves clients who contacted Citywire saying that their charges had effectively doubled.

Association of Investment Companies (AIC) director general Ian Sayers applauded the decision.'It’s great news to see that Hargreaves Lansdown have listened to feedback, and we congratulate them,' he said in a statement.  

'Whilst investment trusts are held in much the same way as funds, they are shares which are traded just like any other. We are very pleased that investors can now continue to hold both investment trusts and other shares in a cost effective way.'

The decision followed the company's interim report, in which it said it had witnessed a 'staggering' inflow of £13 billion of new client assets over the year to January but profit and revenue growth within the business lagged that rise substantially. Assets under administration rose 43% to reach £43 billion over the full year, the company said in an interim statement, while profit growth within the business stood at 11%, reaching £104.1 million.

Although still substantial, profit margins fell 0.4%, from 65.6% in the same period of 2012 to 65.2%. The company attributed that to continued interest rate depression hitting deposit rates.

'We are pleased that Hargreaves Lansdown's results once again show substantial growth in new clients, assets, revenue and profit,' said company chief executive Ian Gorham (pictured).

'We also welcomed 77,000 new clients during the period, easily the most for any 6 months in our history, and more than the first 6 months of 2011, 2012 and 2013 combined.'

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