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Adviser hits out at Towry transfer delays

A former Edward Jones adviser has hit out at Towry for taking over three months to transfer client assets to a platform.

The adviser, who does not want to be named, says he did not join Towry when it acquired Edward Jones in October 2009 and a number of his clients requested to follow him to his new firm.

A number of platforms have also raised concerns to Money Marketing regarding the time taken to transfer assets.

The adviser says one client applied for her £1m portfolio to be transferred to Transact on March 2, but the transfer is still not complete.

The adviser says: “People are unable to get their money out and it is costing them dearly. One client tried to sell shares in BP a couple of months ago but because the transfer request had been placed, Towry Law said it could not access the funds. But we are still waiting for that transfer to complete months later and the client has lost money as a result.

“The whole transfer process from start to finish should take no more than two weeks. Towry Law is seriously inconveniencing EJ advisers who left and the clients that want to stay with them.”

The adviser says he has a large number of clients who applied to have their assets transferred to Transact in April, but many are still waiting for their funds.

Towry chief executive Andrew Fisher (pictured) admits there is a delay in in-specie transfers.

He says: “The cause of the delays is that the transfer process was being handled in the US until the end of April and a backlog built up. We are doing everything we can to reduce that backlog and it should be finished in the next month.”

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Comments

There are 17 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Exasperated me 16th June 2010 at 9:20 am

    Why would the fact that the process was being handled in the US affect the efficacy of the service? I could accept Mr Fisher’s claims if we still relied upon pony express and the telegraph wire but in today’s market we should see no difference no matter how far away the deals are done. Come on FSA take a look at this.

  2. Message to the FSA….

    This is not treating customers fairly! What are you going to do about it?

  3. Towry Investment Management Ltd has a contract with clients to transfer ISA’s within a 30 day period from Towry knowing a transfer request has been made. How Towry can say the already delayed transfers “should be done within the next month” when they have said to clients previously in their terms and conditions of business that it will be done within 30 days makes me wonder what else are they telling clients that they don’t honour?

    Clients who have not had their ISA’s transferred within 30 days should at least ask for their £58.75 back from Towry Investment Management Ltd.

  4. Answer to Exasperated. As I am sure you already know, the issues were being handled in the US by Edward Jones not by Towry. Towry bought EJ UK, not the entire company. If EJ HQ were dragging their feet then it is a matter for the SEC. Perhaps the FSA are already liaising with the SEC? Also US banking practices are very different, even standing orders are still managed manually by many banks there.

    Accuracy 101 – Lecture 1. You’re welcome.

  5. Perhaps the adviser should be suggesting to “his large number of clients” that they register their dissatisfaction as a formal complaint to Towry Law. That should focus TL to do something to keep off the FSA radar!

  6. Frustrated Client 16th June 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Why when a transfer request was submitted in November 2009 and still not complete June 2010 has their been the delay first by EJ and now Towry.
    Can we not have a comment on these pages from the FSA?

  7. Andrew Fisher implies from his comments that it is Edward Jones in the US who caused the transfer delay problems. Edward Jones in the States has no contractual obligation to complete transfers for Towry clients. Towry bought Edward Jones Ltd in the UK late last year and since that time any transfer requested since that time has been the full responsibility of Towry.

    If Edward Jones US did not provide a good service then Towry needs to deal with Edward Jones about this directly. Towry could have chosen any agent to help deal with the transfers. If they chose the wrong one that is Towry’s responsibility. They should address it and put things right for clients.

  8. Client 1 – agreed to transfer to Towry from Edward Jones. Investments sold and switched to Towry funds in days.

    Client 2 – wishes to leave Towry. Papers submitted and despite complaint, client still hasn’t been given a timescale after 3 months.

    Treating Customers Fairly???

    Perhaps it’s because they desperately need the higher levels of trail commission that Jones negotiated just prior to the sale, for their next purchase?

    How can they be allowed to even think about another acquisition, with thousands of transfers from the last one still outstanding?

  9. Very Angry Client 18th June 2010 at 11:40 am

    The truth of the matter is that Towry are a complete shambles and hold their clients in utter contempt. The takeover of Edward Jones was mishandled completely and they are now regretting this bigtime. They did not keep half as many Edward Jones Advisers as they had hoped for and as a result the majority of former Edward Jones clients will not be dealing with Towry in the future.

    The delay in processing Transfers is a scandal that should be investigated immediately by the regulator, however it’s no surprise that the FSA are doing nothing(Does the banking crisis ring any bells?!!)
    It’s no wonder George Osbourne wants to break up the FSA and hand power to the Bank of England!!They are completely toothless and have been for many years!!

  10. It is obvious what is going on at Towry.

    They are delibrately holding onto client money for a FALSE valuation on IPO.

    I for one will short this company on flotation, it’s a pack of cards.

  11. RICHARD LONGTON 22nd June 2010 at 11:42 am

    I attempted to transfer funds from Towry Law in February. They managed my ISA funds but not the other funds which were transferred incorrectly. I have had difficulty accessing them and had little explanation as to what has happened and why there is a shortfall.

  12. 5 members of my family in different geographical areas had accounts with Edward Jones. All have decided to change the investment manager to another company. Two have been waiting for a transfer for 4- 6 months despite complaint. Even a BACS transfer of cash within a week seems to be beyond this company. Factually, errors have occurred on dividend posting to accounts and payments into and out of accounts may appear late. Is this a matter of hard-nosed policy (despite the CEOs protestations), professional competency of Towry management and infrastructure ( pace its relationship to US Edward Jones) or more sinister? The company has suspended to six monthly its regular statements of accounts so it is extremely difficult to check and see what is going on. The company will no longer provide an advisory service to those operating a share portfolio. Not a good omen for an investor or a satisfactory governance approach after a takeover.

  13. Towry have some professiona l’fob off’ staff employed to block any contact with the company. I am so pleased that I decided to change Companys – still cant get the transfer completed after 3 months or so – bunch of very unprofessional clowns

  14. I am more than just disturbed by the behaviour and reluctance to transfer my portfolio by Towry.It has been requested since April and they still will not provide a date.I am one among many.
    why are they not being investigated?
    What are the supposed regulatory bodies doing regarding this scandal?

  15. I have waited over two months for a transfer so rang the FSA who logged my complaint but said I would have to speak direct to Towry which I did and they just sent me a letter saying it was all Edward Jones faulty and that it would be another month before it was sorted. In effect Towrty have frozen people’s money during a falling market so no chance to sell any shares. FSA did say to email them at consumer.queries@fsa.gov.uk with what happened. If enought people complain to the FSA they might take more of an interest: 0845 606 1234

  16. ok .. Im in the same position for wifes and my portfolios. Requested in April and nothing, so exactly after 30 days I rasied a complaint and got standard letter back. Today I chased both TL adviser and complaints department. WHY? because they cashed in one of the ISAs on June 8th, so they must have all my contracts but nothing is yet to be transferred and they have deducted over £200 so far in transfer fees but no transfers!. Even better, EdwardJones T&Cs said they could charge one annual fee to do the trasnfers and my request was before MAY when the TL T&Cs came into place, so they are stealing ?!. Mr xxxxxx of TL complaints dept said they would look into it and we would get compensated for any losses (like the isa cashed in is currently worth more than on june 8th). The party line is that all backlogs will be completed by the end iof July. Anyway, my 8 weeks waiting for TL to sort is over next week, so have already written the FOS/FSA letter.

    Frustration is if they cashed in something on June the 8th where is it !!!

    KC

  17. A frustrated client 20th July 2010 at 3:10 pm

    My wife & I had been an Edward Jones client for many years & was shocked to discover that an IFA firm rather than an fellow Stock Broking firm had agreed to take control of the asset/cleint base, especially as most of our holdings were in individual shares (circa £650,000). The FSA as usual must have been asleep on the job and surely this is the best ever case of NOT “Treating Customers Fairly”. Wake up at the FSA & sort your transfer department out Towry!

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