Funds stage £4bn comeback in April

Thursday 4 June 2020

UK savers put £4 billion into retail funds in April 2020 after record outflows in March, according to latest figures published today by the Investment Association (IA). The other key findings:

  • Active funds saw strong net retail sales of £2.7 billion in April, reaching nearly double the net retail sales of tracker funds, which saw £1.4 billion in net retail inflows.
  • Equity funds, alongside nearly all asset classes, returned to inflows in April with £2.4 billion in net retail sales.
  • ISA funds experienced £1.1 billion in net retail sales in April, as the new tax year encouraged savers to make the most of the tax wrapper.
  • Responsible Investment funds saw record net retail sales of £969 million in April.

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:

“After record outflows from the fund market as global lockdown measures began in March, savers returned to put £4 billion into retail funds in April. Part of this comeback was fuelled by record inflows into responsible investment funds in April. The crisis has brought a new momentum to the subject of responsible investing, with asset owners and retail investors asking more about their investment manager’s environmental, social and governance approaches.  

“Both active and passive funds benefited from the return to inflows in April. Bond funds gathered £903 million in assets, suggesting some of March’s record redemptions flowed back quickly as we moved past the initial market turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic. “


  Funds under management Net retail sales Net institutional sales
April 2020 £1.2 trillion £4.2 billion £3.5 billion
April 2019 £1.2 trillion £1.3 billion -£228 million

The five best-selling Investment Association sectors for April 2020 were:
1.    Global was first with net retail sales of £1.2 billion.

2.    UK All Companies was second with net retail sales of £874 million. 

3.    £ Corporate Bond followed with net retail sales of £535 million. 

4.    Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares was fourth with net retail sales of £530 million. 

5.    £ High Yield was fifth with net retail sales of £312 million. 

The worst-selling Investment Association sector in April 2020 was Targeted Absolute Return with an outflow of £491 million.


Equity was the best-selling asset class in April 2020 with £2.4 billion in net retail sales.

Fixed Income was the second best-selling asset class, with £903 million of inflows.

Mixed Asset funds experienced £872 million of inflows. 

Money Market funds were next with £154 million of net retail inflows in April

Property funds saw £52 million of net retail inflows.

Other (which includes the Targeted Absolute Return, Volatility Managed, and Unclassified sectors) was the only sector to experience outflows in April, with £172 million in net retail outflows. 


Global was the best-selling equity fund region in April 2020, with net retail sales of £1.2billion.

UK funds were second, seeing net retail inflows of £1 billion.

Asia funds also experienced net retail inflows in April, of £221 million. 

All other equity regions experienced outflows in April 2020.

North America funds saw net retail outflows of £35 million.

Japan funds saw net retail outflows of £77 million.

Europe funds experienced net retail outflows of £206 million.


Tracker funds saw a net retail inflow of £1.4 billion in April 2020. Tracker funds under management stood at £215 billion as of the end of April. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 18%.


Responsible investment funds saw a net retail inflow of £969 million in April 2020. Responsible investment funds under management stood at £29 billion as of the end of April. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 2.4%.


In April, gross retail sales for UK fund platforms totalled £12.3 billion, representing a market share of 49%.

Gross retail sales through Other UK Intermediaries including IFAs were £6.6 billion, representing a market share of 26%.

Direct gross retail sales in April were £2 billion, representing a market share of 8%.

For further information, please contact:

Katie Martin, Head of Communications: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4655

Helen Ayres, Communications Manager: [email protected] 

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4620

David Parton, Communications Executive: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4625

IA press office: [email protected]

T: 020 7269 4696

Notes for Editors 

To see a breakdown of the data referenced in this press release, please see all of the tables here.

The Investment Association's figures for fund sales cover retail and institutional sales in authorised unit trusts and open ended investment companies (OEICs) provided by our membership to UK investors. The figures do not include investment trusts and ETFs.

Each month small revisions to figures have been made since the previous press release. This reflects additional information received by The Investment Association.

Net retail sales comprise total retail sales minus repurchases (including switches between funds), thus the figures can result in a negative figure or outflow.

* Regional breakdown for equity funds

The following Investment Association sectors have been grouped together to compile the figures for regional equity sales:

Equity regions

Direct Channels

Direct includes sales forces and tied agents, private clients and other direct to investor sales without intermediation.

** The Investment Association’s ISA figures are based on information collected from fund companies and five fund platforms (AEGON, Fidelity, Hargreaves Lansdown, Old Mutual Wealth and Transact) where they are the ISA provider. Fund business through other ISA providers such as wealth managers is not included. The Investment Association’s figures cover about three-quarters of the whole of the market for funds held in ISAs.

About the Investment Association (IA):

  • The IA champions UK investment management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 250 members manage £7.7 trillion of assets and the investment management industry supports 115,000 jobs across the UK.
  • Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for the economy, so everyone prospers.
  • Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
    • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
    • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
    • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
    • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
  • The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages 37% of all assets managed in Europe.