U.K.-domiciled investment funds hemorrhaged £4.7 billion ($6.2 billion) in July, the biggest monthly net outflow for at least three years.
Equity funds were the worst hit, with net outflows of £5.7 billion last month, according to data from investment research provider Morningstar. Also hard hit were U.K. property funds, with net outflows of £438 million.
This followed the U.K.'s surprise vote to leave the European Union on June 23. The news rocked London-listed and global stocks, plus sterling. The internationally focused FTSE 100 index has recovered, however, with the weaker pound helping companies that largely report in U.S. dollar terms.
Several U.K. property funds were forced to suspend redemptions in the wake of the vote, because of their inability to match outflows with asset sales without slashing prices. Early indicators suggest commercial real estate has already taken a big knock from the referendum. Commercial property transactions in the U.K. with values above £40,000 fell by 1.7 percent in July year-on-year on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to official figures.
Meanwhile, U.K. fixed income and money market funds enjoyed net inflows of £759 million and £470 million respectively in July. Money-market funds invest in debt securities and are viewed as a safe and typically higher-yielding alternative to interest-bearing bank accounts. Both money-market and fixed income are seen as a safer bet than equity markets in periods of risk aversion.
July's outflows followed redemptions of £3.1 billion from U.K. funds in June.
By contrast, investors put 15.8 billion euros ($17.8 billion) into European long-term funds in July, which was the second-highest level of monthly inflows this year.