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ATS to compensate after Sipp transfer takes more than 90 days

Focusing on money - Magnifying glass over British pound notes.The Pensions Ombudsman has ordered Alliance Trust Savings to pay £500 to a client for the stress it caused during the transfer of her Sipp.

In the ruling, Mrs N wanted to move her Sipp operated by ATS to one operated by Equiniti Financial Services due to an increase in fees.

In June 2017 Mrs N told ATS she wanted to move but it did not reply and she gave the documentation to Equiniti to begin the transfer on in August.

Equiniti requested a valuation of Mrs N’s Sipp from ATS in September and the transfer was completed in November 2017.

Mrs N complained to ATS about the delays in November having raised a similar complaint the previous month.

ATS eventually upheld the complaint to the extent it had taken 14 days more than the 90 days allowed for these sorts of transfers and awarded Mrs N £150 in compensation.

She did not accept the outcome and complained to TPO where an adjudicator considered the complaint.

The adjudicator said ATS conceded it made an error and did not respond to the valuation request from Equiniti for roughly two months.

The adjudicator added the delay from August to November caused Mrs N significant distress and £500 in compensation recognised this.

ATS rejected the opinion and the complaint was passed on to deputy ombudsman Karen Johnston who agreed with the adjudicator.

She says: “I find the maladministration established is sufficient to warrant a total payment of £500.”

An ATS spokeswoman says: “We accept The Pension Ombudsman’s decision and have paid the compensation instructed, in addition to the original amount offered. We are sorry for the delays experienced in this case and have worked hard to improve our customer service performance over the last year.”

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