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AJ Bell wins Sipp charges complaint

Spotlight on charges 700x450.jpgAJ Bell has won a case against a client who wanted his platform fees for the past 14 years reduced.

A client, referred to as Mr N, complained to the Pensions Ombudsman that, because he did not have enough information about what fees would be payable, he sold a property holding in his Sipp far earlier than he would have done, costing him around £4,500.

The client was unhappy when he was charged fees because he was not told there would be any outstanding before he decided to sell the property, and that the statement provided would not have allowed him to work the fees out.

According to the Ombudsman, the client also “asked for a reduction in fees because there was little activity on AJ Bell’s part when no rental payments were being received”.

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The Ombudsman ruled that the £18,000 charged over the period, an average of £1,500, was not excessive for the work undergone.

The service ruled: “Had any of the information in the fees schedules been unclear to Mr N he could, and should, have requested clarification.

“Whilst I agree that AJ Bell should have been in regular contact with Mr N over the non-payment of fees I cannot see that any failure to do so necessarily caused Mr N any loss or harm. Mr N was responsible for ensuring regular income from the tenants of the property and ensuring sufficient funds were in the Sipp to meet the fees due to AJ Bell.”

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