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UK Home-Grown Investors on the up as Financial Apps See 3.2 Million New Users

UK home-grown investors continue to blossom as the top 10 UK investment apps gain an estimated 1.6 million users since March 2020.

This is according to an analysis of the investment app market by the app analytics and marketing platform App Radar. The recorded increase brings the total number of UK users to at least 3.2 million. If similar increases were recorded in iOS users the total number of UK app investors could be as high as 6.4 million with half of those added since the start of the pandemic.

Investment App Downloads App Radar

The insights team at the platform analysed Google Play Store data of 10 of the UK’s biggest financial investment, savings, and pension management apps – including traditional investment choices such as Hargreaves Lansdown, and fintechs Plum, Nutmeg, and Wealthify.

Plum was one of the biggest winners of the investment boom with 382,000 new users – an 80% increase. Freetrade was close behind with 319,500 new customers via the Play Store.

App Radar’s analysis also revealed that this growth in usership is currently showing no sign of slowing, with 140,000 new users added in May 2021 alone.

The growth in the UK tracks a general global surge in the investment app market with Robinhood and eToro leading the way with an estimated 8.2 million and 6.5 million new app users respectively.

As New Year’s resolutions go, the data suggests that UK consumers instigated 179,000 downloads of the top UK finance apps in the opening weeks of the year.

The January 2021 Gamestop short also benefited trading platforms, with the likes of Interactive Investors and Hagreaves Landsown experiencing a peak month for downloads between January and February 2021.

Thomas Kriebernegg, CEO and Co-Founder, App Radar
Thomas Kriebernegg, CEO and Co-Founder, App Radar

Speaking on the findings of the data, Thomas Kriebernegg, CEO & Co-Founder of App Radar, comments, “We are seeing a seismic shift in how people manage their money in the UK. Gone are the days where investing was for a select wealthy few. Now, because fintech companies have significantly lowered the bar to entry, more and more people are taking direct control of their finances.

“Undoubtedly the unique circumstances of the pandemic has helped to catalyse the app investment market, however, significantly, growth has shown no sign of letting up. With an estimated 12% of UK adults now investing via their smartphones, there’s a strong commercial incentive to create new app offerings and this is likely to drive even faster growth. It would not be a surprise to see the vast majority of UK adults using at least one investment app in the next five years.”

During the course of the pandemic, the fintech sector has seen multiple large funding rounds as investors look to back players in the space. This includes a £32 million Series B funding for Freetrade. In the US, the popular trading app Robinhood raised $460 million in Series G funding.


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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