Hargreaves Lansdown 'well-prepared' for no-deal Brexit

Oscar Williams-Grut
Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
Hargreaves Lansdown CEO Chris Hill. Photo: Hargreaves Lansdown

The CEO of investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.L) has said the business is “well-prepared” for a no-deal Brexit.

Chris Hill told Yahoo Finance UK: “We’re a UK-based business. We’re well prepared. We’ve had plans in place to make sure that we can continue to maintain the client service that we need to provide as they go through any difficulty. I think we’re well placed.”

Britain looks increasingly likely to fall out of the EU on 31 October with no deal on future trading relations. European leaders were told by the government’s chief envoy this week that a no-deal Brexit is Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “central scenario” and the UK recently committed an extra £2.1bn ($2.5bn) towards planning for a no-deal.

Multiple business groups have warned about the potential destructive and disruptive impact no-deal could have on economic activity.

READ MORE: Hargreaves Lansdown CEO: 'Right thing' for Woodford to axe fees on frozen fund

FTSE 100-listed Hargreaves Lansdown is the UK’s biggest direct to consumer investment platform, with over 1.2m customers. Hill downplayed any potential affects on his company.

“Issues with markets, they will come and go all of the time,” Hill said when asked if no-deal could depress investment volumes.

“I take a longer term view. The longer term view for this is the most important thing is people need to save and invest for the long term and that’s what Hargreaves Lansdown is doing.

“The results today speak for themselves because we are absolutely supporting our clients to save and invest in which is really complicated, ever changing environment, all the time anyway.”

READ MORE: Short-selling attack costs stricken fund manager Neil Woodford £118m

Hill’s comments came as Hargreaves Lansdown reported a 7% rise in revenue to £480.5m in the year to 30 June. Pre-tax profit rose by 5% to £305.8m, net new business fell by 4% to £7.3bn, and total assets under administration rose by 8% to £99.3bn.

Hill also called on fund manager Neil Woodford to waive fees on his gated Woodford Equity Income fund, which was suspended at the start of June with £3.7bn of investor money trapped inside. Hargreaves has been criticised for promoting the fund up until its suspension and Hill once again apologised to customers, saying: “We all share their disappointment and frustration.”

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Oscar Williams-Grut covers banking, fintech, and finance for Yahoo Finance UK. Follow him on Twitter at@OscarWGrut.

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