10th November 2015
Almost a third, at 31%, of UK personal investors have changed their investment behaviour or are planning to do so in the run up to Britain’s referendum on European Union membership.
As the Prime Minister David Cameron outlines his demands for reforming the UK’s membership of the union, the analysis from stockbroker The Share Centre found that the potential uncertainty it might create is clearly of concern to investors.
The survey concluded that 63% believe that a ‘No’ vote in the European referendum would have a negative impact on the stock market while 59% are concerned about the impact the EU referendum will have on the stock market.
The study also found that 70% of retail investors believe financial services regulation should be brought back to the UK.
Some 26% said their vote could change as a result of David Cameron’s negotiations – though only 30% think he will be successful in obtaining any concessions for the UK.
Commenting on the findings of the survey, Richard Stone, chief executive of The Share Centre, said: “Personal investors are making a clear call for David Cameron to include the repatriation of financial services regulation in his negotiations with the EU. An overwhelming 70% of personal investors believe that financial services regulations that affect them directly should originate within the UK.
“The fact that nearly one third of investors are already changing, or are planning to change, their behaviour in the run up to the referendum highlights the depth of that concern and the impact it could have on markets at a time when confidence is already weak.”
In responding to the demands of personal investors Stone believe that Cameron’s demands should be clear and specific. He said while objectives such as boosting competitiveness and bolstering national parliaments are to be welcomed he added however that they need to be “accompanied by specific changes which address the concerns of personal investors and which will enable people to determine whether the outcome of any renegotiations are meaningful in delivering real change”.
The Share Centre’s survey suggested at present 50% of personal investors would vote to stay in, and 44% would vote to leave, the EU.
Stone said: “This reflects how close the debate is. With personal investors being an important and engaged part of the broader electorate it is clear that delivering real change to protect their interests could help determine the outcome of the referendum itself.”