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ATS executive leaves as service woes continue

Fower headed up the platform’s proposition and IT

Alliance Trust Savings chief operating officer Allison Fower has left the business after just eight months with the firm.

ATS confirmed Fower left in August. Prior to joining ATS she spent two years as platform and proposition consultant at Prudential.

At ATS Fower was responsible for operations, change, IT and proposition.

Candid Financial Advice director Justin Modray calls Fower’s departure “bitterly disappointing”. He says Fower helped to improve service at ATS but has noticed standards have slipped since she left the business.

Modray says: “We manage to shield our clients pretty well from ATS blunders by spending hours each week chasing outstanding issues and getting errors fixed, but this is clearly not sustainable.”

He says the platform is the best option for many of his clients because of the flat fee charging structure but is frustrated with service issues.

An ATS spokeswoman says: “We recognise the recent failings in our customer service as we work to upgrade our technology systems and apologise for the frustration this has caused advisers. Improving customer service is a key priority and we are investing in additional staff and training to ensure we provide the highest quality service to our customers.”

Modray says: “There are significant backlogs across their business causing lengthy delays when trying to open new accounts or transfer in assets from elsewhere. We’ve also experienced numerous clerical errors, problems getting paid adviser fees and a distinct lack of urgency and initiative.

“And when making formal complaints ATS struggles to respond or resolve within FCA timescales. Overall it’s a very frustrating experience made worse by a severe lack of communication with advisers about these issues and the never ending re-platforming project.”

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Don’t blame her. ATS is a complete shambles. I regularly have to tell clients ‘this is how much you are saving by using them – just tell me when their hopelessness has become SO irriting that you’d rather pay that much more and go elsewhere’.

  2. Gareth Campbell 4th October 2017 at 7:42 pm

    It took her that long to realise it was too late. Service has deteriorated when they moved to Stocktrade. Lansdown said it about shopping in Harrods or Lidl.

  3. Peter Robertson 4th October 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Ivor, you are absolutely right. Ali Tower was hired for Mission Impossible – dismal service is a symptom of terrible strategy. ATS are trying to serve IFA, buy and hold and day trader clients with the same technology. No one else in the industry has been mad enough to do so. Perhaps the new Chairman will help sort matters.

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