Savers warm to UK companies following successful vaccine rollout

Savers invested £4.4 billion into funds in a month of strong inflows, data published today by the Investment Association (IA) reveals. The other key findings for March include:

  • Q1 2021 saw positive net retail inflows of £10 billion
  • The IA’s Global sector was the best-selling sector of Q1 with £3.6 billion inflows
  • Responsible investment funds saw a net retail inflow of £1.6 billion in March 2021, a new monthly record.

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

“The beginning of Spring saw the thawing of investor sentiment towards UK companies following the successful rollout of the coronavirus vaccine and broader growth in business confidence. With confidence returning to the market, savers invested £217 million into smaller UK companies, but also put £472 million into funds in the UK All Companies sector, typically invested in medium to large companies listed on the FTSE– the first such inflow in six months.”




Funds Under Management

Net Retail Sales

Net Institutional Sales

March 2021 

£1.5 trillion

£4.4 billion

-£1.3 billion

March 2020

£1.1 trillion

-£9.7 billion

-£1.7 billion



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

  1. Global was first with net retail sales of £1.6 billion.
  2. Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares was second with net retail sales of £1 billion.
  3. Volatility Managed followed with net retail sales of £483 million.
  4. UK All Companies was fourth with net retail sales of £472 million.
  5. Global Emerging Markets was fifth with net retail sales of £298 million.

The worst-selling Investment Association sector in March 2021 was £ Corporate Bonds with an outflow of £1.5 billion.



Mixed Asset funds were the best-selling asset class in March 2021 with £1.9 billion in net retail sales.

Equity was the second best-selling asset class, with £1.1 billion of inflows.

Fixed Income funds experienced £1 billion of inflows.

Other funds (which includes the Targeted Absolute Return, Volatility Managed, and Unclassified sectors) experienced £814 million of net retail sales.

Property funds however experienced £155 million in net retail outflows.

Money Market funds also experienced net retail outflows in March of £317 million.



Global was the best-selling equity fund region in March 2021, with net retail sales of £1.8 billion.

UK funds were second, seeing net retail inflows of £114 million.

All other regions saw outflows, with Japan funds experiencing net retail outflows of £86 million.

Asia funds experienced net retail outflows of £99 million.

Europe funds saw net retail outflows of £421 million.

North America funds saw net retail outflows of £1 billion.



Tracker funds saw a net retail inflow of £626 million in March 2021. Tracker funds under management stood at £259 billion as of the end of March. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 17.7%.



Responsible investment funds saw a net retail inflow of £1.6 billion in March 2021. Responsible investment funds under management stood at £66 billion as of the end of March. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 4.5%.



In March, gross retail sales for UK fund platforms totalled £19 billion, representing a market share of 47.9%. 

Gross retail sales through Other UK Intermediaries including IFAs were £9 billion, representing a market share of 23.2%. 

Direct gross retail sales in March were £2.3 billion, representing a market share of 5.7%. 

Katie Martin, Head of Communications: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4655

Helen Ayres, Senior Communications Manager: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4620

IA Press Office: [email protected]

Notes to 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.

IA data on responsible investments has been collected using the IA's Responsible Investment Framework. Responsible investment incorporates firm-level and fund-level components. The data presented here is at the fund level where funds are pursuing one or more of the following responsible investment approaches and this approach is referenced in the fund documentation: exclusions; sustainability focus; impact investing.

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:

Stats table

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 250 members manage £8.5 trillion of assets and the investment management industry supports 113,000 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.