Industry Updates

Vanguard UK retail platform hits 500,000 users amid low-cost passive boom

The share of Vanguard assets housed in ETFs doubled since UKPI launched in 2017

Jamie Gordon

Vanguard retail site on mobile

Vanguard’s UK Personal Investor (UKPI) platform has hit 500,000 users in less than six years as retail investors become increasingly educated on the use-case for low-cost products.

The growing popularity of ETFs among its retail clients is evidenced by the share of Vanguard UK assets housed in wrapped products more than doubling from 9% when UKPI launched in May 2017 to 20% at the end of 2022.

The ETF wrapper’s centre stage is particularly impressive given Vanguard only launched its first ETFs in Europe in 2012. Its 34-strong range of UCITS ETFs housed now houses around €84bn assets.

This figure also does not include ETF assets housed in multi-asset portfolios. In February, ETF Stream research found ETFs made up 7.6% of the $44.2bn housed in Vanguard’s popular LifeStrategy suite.

Given these funds of funds accounted for 40% of all Vanguard UK client assets, ETFs within these products represented 3% of all the firm’s UK client assets, equivalent to $3.3bn at the time.

Most popular ETFs on Vanguard's UKPI

Between standalone products and portfolio inclusion, ETFs represent almost 25% of all Vanguard UK assets invested by professional clients and it half-million-strong retail client base.

Sean Hagerty, head of Europe for Vanguard, said: “We remain relentlessly focused on serving our clients, and on continuing to lower the barriers to investing. That means access to high-quality, uncomplicated funds, better value, and stronger advocacy for investors’ interests.”

Vanguard also noted interesting trends taking place on its UKPI platform, such as the percentage of investors trading on an average day being just 0.09%, while 32% contributed to their accounts via monthly savings plans.

UKPI has also built up a considerable following among young investors, with 34% of the platform’s clients being aged 30 or younger. 

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