The company reported the client growth - and a decline in assets under administration - in a trading statement today for the quarter ended 31 March.
Total customer numbers increased by 9% in the quarter, with net inflows up 30% compared to the previous year at £1.3bn (2019: £1bn).
Assets under administration (AUA) were up 1% over the last year at £48.3bn but slumped by 12% in the quarter from £54.7bn.
The decline in AUA was similar to rival Transact which announced its trading update this week.
AJ Bell blamed adverse market and other movements for the decline in AUA.
Despite the decline in AUA advised customer numbers were reached 103,974, up 11% over the last year and 4% in the quarter. D2C customers were 144,100, up 34% over the last year and 13% in the quarter.
Andy Bell, chief executive at AJ Bell, said: “This quarter was without doubt one of the most dramatic we’ve witnessed.
“We had to move quickly to keep our people safe from Covid-19 and comply with the Government lockdown. I’m pleased that we were able to do that effectively whilst remaining open for business as usual during a very busy tax year end period.
“I’d like to thank our staff for the flexibility and dedication they have shown to ensure our customers have been able to access and manage their investments as usual during the lockdown. This resilience is reflected in our new business figures which are very strong compared to last year.”
He warned: “The Covid-19 crisis continues to have a devastating impact on people’s lives and the economic outlook remains uncertain. We have confirmed that we are not furloughing any staff or claiming benefits from any of the Government’s financial support schemes which should be preserved for those companies that need them most.”
The company recently launched the AJ Bell Wage War on Covid Fund under the umbrella of the AJ Bell Trust, a UK registered charity, which will help charities and causes supporting the Covid-19 efforts. There was a £50,000 donation from the AJ Bell Trust and Mr Bell will be donating his April, May and June wages into the fund. Other board directors, senior management and staff have made similar pledges, the company said.