Hargreaves Lansdown has threatened Philip J Milton & Company with legal action after it criticised Hargreaves’ pricing structure in a client newsletter.
In a newsletter sent to around 3,500 clients at the end of January before Hargreaves changed its proposed charging model for investment trusts, managing director Philip Milton said clients will start “deserting” Hargreaves following its pricing structure announcement last month.
He said: “When customers start to realise they have to pay (as opposed to having charges deducted unseen as back-handers as in the past) they will start deserting.”
Milton said Hargreaves would be doubling its charges for clients holding investment trusts, and that clients should be aware of additional charges.
In an email sent to Milton last week, seen by Money Marketing, Hargreaves head of financial planning Danny Cox said: “There are a number of factual inaccuracies and misleading statements which would be of great interest to our lawyers if we chose to engage them.
“One of the biggest problems in financial services is endless knocking copy.”
He said it is untrue to say Hargreaves is doubling its charges for investment trusts and took issue with claims its Wealth 150 funds list was based on anything other than performance.
Hargreaves U-turned last week on its decision to apply additional charges on investment trusts. It had planned to levy an extra 0.45 per cent on holdings in investment trusts, capped at £45. It already charges 0.45 per cent on equity holdings.
Cox declined to comment further.
Milton says: “It is wrong to say I was incorrect on investment trust charges when it was correct at the time of writing. These threats are an overreaction.”