Hargreaves Lansdown profits up 41%


Hargreaves Lansdown posted a forty-one per cent rise in half-year profits

Fund manager Hargreaves Lansdown said half-year profits growth was held back by an industry-wide compensation fund levy that forces firms to pay for the “incompetence of others”.

The Bristol-based group reported a 41% leap in half-year profits to £56.3 million, but said this would have been significantly higher had it not been for a £3 million bill for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) levy.

It called for a review of the scheme, which compensates savers and investors in the event of a UK authorised firm going bust.

Recent rises in the levy have drawn industry-wide anger over how the system works.

Ian Gorham, chief executive of Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Shareholders in reputable firms should not have to foot the bill for the incompetence of others and we believe that the way in which such a compensation scheme is funded and operates needs to be reviewed.”

The FSCS blow did not hold Hargreaves back from achieving record profits and revenues in the six months to December 31 as increases in world stock markets boosted investment business and funds under management.

It said the first half performance was particularly pleasing, as its final six months are traditionally much stronger thanks to a boost from the tax year end.

Funds under management rose by 27% to £22.3 billion as at December 31.

During this time, an equity bounce back saw London’s FTSE All Share Index surge by a fifth.

It is hoping to benefit over the next six months from increases to Individual Savings Account (ISA) allowances and pension changes.

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