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Hargreaves Lansdown backtracks on fee rise for investment trust holders

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Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK's biggest fund supermarket, has reversed its decision to increase charges for holding investment trusts following a backlash from customers.

As part of its new pricing structure announced last month, Hargreaves had intended to charge investment trust holders a separate 0.45% fee on top of the charge for holding shares.

However, the firm said it had “listened to its customers” and decided that clients “will pay no more to hold investment trusts in future than they do today”.

From 1 March, HL’s Vantage platform users will be charged a single annual fee of 0.45%, which will be capped at £45 for ISA customers and £200 for SIPP customers.

Investment trusts will not be charged separately as previously proposed.

The u-turn comes as Hargreaves said the amount of assets administered on behalf of clients increased by a “staggering” £13bn from just one year ago after it added a record 77,000 new clients in the last six months of 2013. 

Total new business inflows in the second half of last year were £2.8bn, up 70% on the first half, taking total assets under administration to more than £43bn.

Hargreaves said strong market performance and the Royal Mail float in October had contributed to the jump in customer numbers.

In a trading statement, chief executive Ian Gorham said the firm welcomed “easily the most clients for any 6 months in our history, and more than the first 6 months of 2011, 2012 and 2013 combined.”



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