Responsible investment funds make up two thirds of total fund inflows in September


Responsible investment funds made up two thirds of total fund inflows in September, as savers invested £1.6 billion into responsible investment funds – the second highest month of inflows since March. September retail fund data published today by the Investment Association (IA) also shows:

  • Total net retail sales were £2.3 billion.
  • Global was the best-selling IA sector in September with net retail sales of £955 million.
  • Tracker fund sales remained strong with inflows of £1.0 billion.
  • Property funds experienced inflows of £90 million, nearly four times higher than August inflows of £23 million.
  • UK equity funds saw outflows for the second consecutive month of £584 million.

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said: “It is encouraging to see investors’ continuing commitment to sustainability in the run-up to the crucial COP26 negotiations. This is reflected in the strong inflows into responsible investment funds in September, which accounted for two-thirds of the total funds.

“The FTSE’s performance has been solid in recent months and the rebound in UK companies paying dividends continues, but investor appetite for UK equities has weakened for the second consecutive month. Uncertainty remains over the pace of economic recovery into 2022 and the outlook for inflation as supply chain and labour challenges continue to bite in the run up to Christmas.”



Funds Under Management

Net Retail Sales

Net Institutional Sales

September 2021 

£1.5 trillion

£2.3 billion

-£2.2 billion

September 2020

£1.3 trillion

£1.6 billion

-£1.3 billion


The five best-selling Investment Association sectors for September 2021 were:                                    

  1. Global was first with net retail sales of £955 million.
  2. Short Term Money Market was second with net retail sales of £502 million.
  3. Volatility Managed followed with net retail sales of £398 million.
  4. £ Strategic Bond was fourth with net retail sales of £236 million.
  5. Mixed Bond was fifth with £199 million.

The worst-selling Investment Association sector in September 2021 was UK All Companies, which experienced outflows of £341 million.


Equity was the best-selling asset class in September 2021 with £984 million in net retail sales – the first time this figure has been under £1 billion since February.

Fixed Income was the second best-selling asset class, with £620 million of inflows.

Money Market funds experienced £610 million of inflows.

Mixed Asset funds experienced £365 million of inflows.

Property funds saw net retail sales of £90 million.

Other funds (which includes the Targeted Absolute Return, Volatility Managed, and Unclassified sectors) experienced outflows of £341 million.


Global was the best-selling equity fund region in September 2021, with net retail sales of £1.09 billion.

North America was second with net retail sales of £125 million.

Europe funds experienced net retail inflows of £58 million.

UK, Japan, and Asia funds all experienced outflows. The UK saw net retail outflows of £584 million, Asia funds experienced outflows of £140 million, and Japan funds had an outflow of £62 million.


Tracker funds saw a net retail inflow of £1.0 billion in September 2021. Tracker funds under management stood at £285 billion as of the end of September. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 18.4%.


Responsible investment funds saw a net retail inflow of £1.6 billion in September 2021. Responsible investment funds under management stood at £85 billion as of the end of September. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 5.5%.


In September, gross retail sales for UK fund platforms totalled £13.2 billion, representing a market share of 49.7%. 

Gross retail sales through Other UK Intermediaries including IFAs were £7.05 billion, representing a market share of 26.5%. 

Direct gross retail sales in September were £1.04 billion, representing a market share of 3.9%. 

For further information, please contact:

Katie Martin, Head of Communications: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4655

Camilla Esmund, Communications Executive: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4625

IA press office: [email protected]

T: 020 7269 4696

This data includes the six new sectors launched from the Investment Association’s (IA) Global and Specialist sectors on Monday 13 September 2021. 

Currently, the two sectors are among the largest within the classification scheme, with 471 funds included within the IA Global sector and 332 in the IA Specialist sector. As the retail fund market evolves and grows, the creation of the new sectors will help investors to more easily find similar types of funds. The decision to create the new sectors was taken by the IA Sectors Committee after a public consultation with the industry and sector users.  

New country - regional equity sectors:  

  • Latin America 
  • India/Indian Subcontinent 

Industry sectors: 

  • Financials and Financial Innovation 
  • Healthcare 

Alternative investment approaches: 

  • Infrastructure 
  • Commodity/Natural Resources 

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: 

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, Quilter, 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 270 members manage £9.4 trillion of assets and the investment management industry supports 114,000 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 over a third (37%) of all assets managed in Europe.