Investors pulled £3.5 billion out of the UK in the run up to the Brexit vote

Small-time investors pulled £3.5 billion out of UK investment funds in June as the Brexit vote loomed, new figures show.

Retail investors, individuals investing their own money as opposed to institutions or professionals, withdrew the sum from funds, according to figures from the Investment Association. £2.8 billion was pulled out of equity funds while £1.4 billion left property funds.

There were inflows in some areas, and investors put around £700 million into other investment products , including £258 million into fixed income, and £157 million into money market funds.

The investor outflows seen in June dwarf withdrawals at the height of the financial crisis when £581 million was withdrawn from UK funds in January 2008.

Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told the Times: “The scale of the exodus from investment funds in June is quite extraordinary, with the Brexit vote eclipsing the financial crisis in terms of putting the frighteners on retail investors in the short term.”

But while £3.5 billion may seem like a lot, it represents just a 0.37% change in the overall assets held by UK investment bodies and total assets rose to a 12-month high of £948 billion in June.

Guy Sears, the interim CEO of the Investment Association, says in a statement: “Clearly, Brexit has been unsettling, with property and equity funds particularly affected following earlier outflows during 2016. At the same time, flows were positive into fixed income and targeted absolute return sectors as investors sought safer harbours.”

Several property funds that hold a combined £15 billion of UK real estate were forced to freeze withdrawals in the wake of the Brexit vote after being overwhelmed by demand from investors to pull money.

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