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Hargreaves under fire over ‘portfolio transfer delay’

Hargreaves Lansdown has been criticised for taking almost five months to transfer a portfolio to another platform and refusing to compensate the client’s adviser for hours spent trying to resolve the case.

North Irish advisory firm Jigsaw Financial took on a client who had previously used Hargreaves Lansdown’s direct to consumer platform on 5 February 2013 and asked Hargreaves to move an Isa and unit trust to Axa Elevate.

But due to processing delays and Hargreaves entering the wrong account details multiple times, the transaction of about £150,000 was not completed until 26 June that year, Jigsaw director Paul Adair says.

Hargreaves declined to comment because Adair intends to take the case to the small claims court.

Adair says despite admitting the fault and compensating the client with £150, Hargreaves refused “point blank” to pay Jigsaw’s invoice of £260 for the time spent trying dealing with the problem.

He claims Hargreaves told him to bill the client for the time, and the client could then take it up with Hargreaves.

Adair admits the claim is small, but says he is making the stand on “principle”.

“I’m just a small fish in a pretty large pond, but it breaks my balls that they can just walk over us.

“When I’m acting on behalf of a client I’m due a duty of care as well, the same as any other customer.”

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Comments

There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I have some clients with assets on the HL platform that they decided they’d prefer to amalgamate with their portfolio on another platform through me. They weren’t exactly unhappy with HL, they just preferred the nature of their relationship with me.

    So the relevant forms were completed and submitted, but then the client called me to say he’d had to change his mind because HL would hit him with a nasty exit charge, whereas if he stays with them, he’ll get a periodic loyalty bonus. How the FCA can possibly consider this to be in the spirit of its RDR is completely beyond me. Thoughts anyone?

  2. Had the same problem at the beginning of the year transferring a Sipp portfolio. From the paperwork being sent out it took 6 months. HL even rang the client up mid way through the process asking why they were transferring and offered them discounted rates! (Still weren’t as competitive as the rival platform)

  3. Yeah, but you used to get a free pen and a diary with HL… or is it!

    Julian, did HL advise your client originally of exit charge and the loyalty bonus?

    Paul Adair – using Axa Elevate as the alternative… brave man, I haven’t trusted AXA with anything for years.

  4. I dunno. It’s probably somewhere in some weighty tome with which the client would have been issued and probably didn’t read but, as HL don’t give advice (allegedly), they very probably didn’t draw the client’s attention to such an item. Were they to do so, a lot of people might think twice about committing money to the HL platform.

    But hey, if the FCA’s happy, who cares? That’s SJP’s attitude.

  5. Christopher Durant 16th January 2015 at 10:01 am

    I have always thought that their very high re-registration charge of £30 per holding is in violation of TCF Outcome 6 – ‘Consumers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers by firms to switch provider’. I had a client who had 25 funds and wanted to re-register away and when they were informed of the charge of £750 they decided not to proceed. I raised a complaint against HL under TCF Outcome 6 and they rejected it and after a very long time so did the Ombudsman. So it looks like these big players can do what they want – or we all start raising complaints against them, taking them to the Ombudsman and putting it in the press and embarrassing them into changing.

  6. @Chris – I agree with you – I only had one client with HL all in GOLD, completely stupid asset allocation compared to his attitude to risk, we combined it with monies on another WRAP including other ISA and pension monies, but as you say, he had to pay for the pleasure to leave them, fortunately it was just the one gold holding.

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