James Hay has blamed new EU regulations as well as a  ‘slowdown’ in defined benefit (DB) pension transfers for a fall in its new client numbers in the first quarter of the year.

A trading statement published by parent company IFG Group revealed the platform attracted 1,400 new clients in the first three months of 2018. This was down 14% on the first quarter of last year, and 11% down on the last quarter of 2017.

‘We believe this reflects the performance of the wider platform market, driven by a slowdown in the DB transfer market, equity market volatility, and adviser focus on factors such as GDPR and Mifid,’ the company said.

Last year platforms and life companies reported an increase in the amount of DB transfer business, but the majority did not disclose figures. Standard Life, one of the few businesses that did reveal the scale of new business, said DB transfer inflows had more than than tripled to £900 million at the halfway point of last year.

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