Funds in the UK disinvested the most since at least 1987 last year as insurance companies, pension funds and trusts reduced the total invested by £18bn in the final three months of the year, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics.

In total these financial business disinvested £40bn in 2016, the most since the survey was started in 1987 and the first annual fall ever.

The fall in the amount invested during the fourth quarter is the second consecutive fall and the sixth ever. Three of the quarters of 2016 saw net disinvestment.

Pension funds took £45bn of money out of investment from overseas securities, while gilts saw an increase in investment of £31bn — this was the most since 1963, the ONS say.

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