Investors pulled £4.8bn out of Aberdeen Asset Management’s funds in the final three months of 2014, which the firm attributed mostly to market-wide nervousness in December.
Aberdeen said total assets under management fell by £1bn to £323.3bn in the quarter, as positive market movements including favourable currency swings offset some of the outflows.
The outflows are bigger than the £2.8bn taken out of Aberdeen’s funds in the prior three months. The firm added that gross inflows were slightly higher than the previous quarter, despite the net exodus of capital.
Aberdeen said customers were withdrawing from low-margin bonds and emerging market equities towards the end of the quarter, when tumbling oil prices were compounded by worries about growth in China and the collapse of the Russian rouble.
“January was back to normal, but we are very cautious that all it needs is some global macro event and we will see outflows,” Martin Gilbert, chief executive, adding he expects the UK markets to be on edge until after the general election.
The firm said the integration of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, which it bought from Lloyds in March 2014, was likely to deliver greater savings than expected once completed by the end of the year.
Aberdeen shares lost 3.4pc to 425p, making it the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 index on Tuesday, on a day when other financial stocks were on the rise.
“Moves are not big enough to warrant material estimate changes by the market but the volatility in flows is a salutary reminder that the path upwards remains tricky,” Jefferies analyst Jason Streets said in a note.
At the firm’s annual meeting in Aberdeen, all resolutions passed comfortably, including 92.5% support for executive remuneration.