Witan picks Share Centre to take remainder of savings accounts

Hargreaves landed £420m worth of business from investment trust earlier in the year

The Witan Investment Trust has chosen The Share Centre to take its Child Trust Fund accounts after its February decision to transfer its other saving scheme customers to Hargreaves Lansdown.

The announcement comes two days after JP Morgan Asset Management announced it was splitting its savings scheme accounts between the two platforms as asset managers increasingly outsource retail client operations.

Hargreaves has nabbed up to £2bn worth of assets under administration from the transfers, including £765m from the JPMAM transaction and a further £420m from the Witan transfer earlier in the year, which included the Wisdom and Jump Savings schemes, as well as Junior Isas.

The Share Centre will receive the Child Trust Funds in May. It did not disclose the total assets under administration involved. It is due to receive £750m worth of investment trust assets in the JPMAM transfer.

Half of children disconnected from Child Trust Funds

Association of Investment Companies communications director Annabel Brodie-Smith said investment trusts are popular in Child Trust Funds and the Junior Isas that replaced them. “We’ve had a lot of popularity in this area because we have a lot of strong, long-term performance. When you’re saving for children you’re taking a long-term perspective.”

Child Trust Funds were granted to every child born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011 with each account holding between £250 to £500 depending on the wealth of their parents. In total, 6 million accounts were created totalling over £9bn in assets.

The Share Foundation, established by Share Centre founder Gavin Oldham (pictured) in 2005, has a campaign aimed at reuniting children with their Child Trust Funds. Approximately half of children entitled to Child Trust Funds are disconnected from their accounts either through a lack of awareness of the scheme or because their address does not correspond to the account.

Children are entitled to take control of the money in their account when they turn 16, meaning the first members of the scheme became eligible in Q4 last year.

Oldham, who is chair of The Share Foundation, said: “When launched, the CTF was a significant initiative designed to help children get into the habit of saving and to help them understand personal finance. However unless young people connect with their CTF and, if disconnected altogether, find their accounts swiftly, its impact will be lost. Many of the lost accounts were ‘Revenue‐allocated’ when first issued: that’s why their families are often unaware of their significance.”

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