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Investment platform AJ Bell has reported a 15% rise in advised customers year on year, and 4% over the third quarter, in its latest trading update.

Total platform customers grew 32% year on year, and 6% in the quarter, as direct to consumer customers rose 42% (8% in the quarter). The platform now has 353,299 customers, of which just over a third (122,757) are advised.

Total platform net inflows increased by 40% over the prior year to £2.1bn, with just over half (£ being advised (a 57% growth year on year in advised net inflows).

Platform assets under administration closed the quarter at £63.1bn, a 32% rise year on year and a 9% rise in the quarter.

Assets under management at the platforms investment management business, AJ Bell Investments, increased 186% year on year and 43% over the quarter to £2bn. Total net inflows in the quarter were £524 million, including a one-off inflow of £253m.

Andy Bell, CEO at AJ Bell, said: “In the advised market, third quarter platform inflows were up 57% compared to the prior year. The introduction of simplified pension options is proving particularly popular with advisers as it provides them with different price points and flexible investment options to cater for a diverse range of client needs.

“We also continue to see strong demand for our in-house investment solutions. There is growing awareness amongst financial advisers of the value and performance that our managed portfolio service is delivering to their clients and our multi-asset funds continue to prove popular with advisers and retail customers alike.

“As we head into the final quarter of our financial year, we remain focused on providing an excellent service to our customers and continuing to support our people as we navigate the current wave of the pandemic. Looking further ahead, the structural growth drivers for our sector remain strong and we are well placed to deliver further growth across our platform.”

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