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AJ Bell sets up bank account platform as trading booms sees profits soar

Profits in the year to September 30, 2020, will be at least £2.5mln above the current market consensus of £43.4mln

AJ Bell PLC -

AJ Bell PLC (LON:AJB), the platform-based wealth manager, said it expects to beat profits estimates for this financial year after record levels of trading by customers.

In a trading update, AJ Bell said trades in the three months to end-June 2020 were double the same period a year ago though they had now eased from the peak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

As a result, management currently expects profits in the year to September 30, 2020, to be at least £2.5mln above the current market consensus of £43.4mln.

AJ Bell said it expects dealing activity to normalise this quarter and so is not changing guidance for the year to September 30, 2021.

The wealth manager said total customer numbers increased by 8% over the June quarter to 282,618. Assets under management rose by 12% to £54.3bn while net inflows were flat compared to the previous year at £1.2bn.

The company noted that it is also going to offer customers a hub to tap into the £1.5trn retail savings market.

Customers will be able to access a range of notice and fixed-term savings accounts from a range of UK authorised banks through one online account, which will be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

In the Q3 trading update, Andy Bell, the firm's chief executive, said: “With interest rates so low, it is increasingly important that people regularly check the rates they are earning on their cash savings and consider switching accounts if they want to ensure they get a better return, but most people don’t have the time or inclination to do that.

“Our new AJ Bell Cash savings hub will enable customers to manage their cash savings more effectively without having to go through lengthy, paper-based application processes each time they open a new account.”

Quick facts: AJ Bell PLC

Price: 405 GBX

LSE:AJB
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.66 billion
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