$20 billion wiped off AMP’s wealth portfolio during COVID-19 crisis

Market volatility onset by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has wiped just under AUS$20 billion from AMP’s wealth portfolio, the Australia-based financial services giant has announced.

AMP told the ASX on Thursday its Australian wealth funds under management declined 13.5% to $116.3 billion in the three months to March 31, down from $134.5 billion at the end of 2019.

The company’s New Zealand wealth business lost $1.2 billion – a 9.8% drop in total assets under management (AUM). Total AUM at fund manager AMP Capital also fell 5.3% to $192.4 billion.

AMP chief executive Francesco De Ferrari said the firm had seen some recovery since the end of the quarter but expects volatility across equities, commodities and fixed income to continue while the coronavirus remains a threat to global society.

“Amid the uncertainty, I’m pleased we are showing up strongly for our clients and demonstrating the resilience of our business,” De Ferrari said on Thursday.

The company had already become embroiled in accusations of widespread misconduct prior to the coronavirus outbreak, with a public inquiry finding it had charged life insurance premiums to dead customers.