An advice firm has hit out at Standard Life after the provider revealed clients had moved from a rival firm amid a dispute over client ownership.
Adviser Matthew Bradshaw joined Attain Wealth Management from Croesus Financial Services in January 2013. After a number of clients transferred with Bradshaw, Croesus brought a High Court case against Bradshaw in November.
During the dispute, Standard Life adviser support staff confirmed to Croesus that some of its former clients had moved to Attain.
The court ruled in favour of Croesus in November and ordered compensation of around £75,000, plus costs. The clients remain with Attain.
Attain Wealth Management managing director Gordon Crothers says: “This is a prime example of where you rely on trust. We expect information from a third party company not to be disclosed to another adviser.
“If we can no longer rely on that trust then I cannot see how we can continue to do business with Standard Life.”
A spokeswoman for Standard Life says: “Around the time of the disputed transfer of agency, a member of staff inadvertently informed Croesus over the phone that two of their clients had transferred to Attain. It is not our normal procedure to provide details of a customer’s new agency to a previous agency, which has been addressed with the individual concerned.
“This was not the cause of any financial loss and did not impact the transfer of agency or create the dispute between the firms concerned. Our policy remains to only provide information about clients to the holding IFA on our records.”
Croesus chief executive Jonathan Fry says: “We were pleased with the High Court judgment. Standard Life’s involvement was peripheral to the case.”
Derbyshire Booth managing director Greg Heath says: “Trust is the cornerstone of our relationship with providers and advisers have to feel it will be protected.”