The financial services industry will only succeed in improving consumer trust and increasing savings take-up when firms stop “ripping customers off”, says Reyker chairman Adrian Barnwell.
Speaking at the annual Tisa conference in London yesterday, Barnwell said firms need to be honest and listen to their customers.
He told delegates: “As a custodian firm we deal with tens of thousand of customers who have invested in products they don’t understand.
“The challenge for the industry is to recover trust with consumers. We will only do that if we are truthful, listen to our customers and deliver what they want.
“Fundamentally it is about keeping it simple and not ripping customers off.”
Reyker came under fire when it took over as custodian following the collapse of structured products firm Merchant Capital in 2012, and initially charged clients between £15 and £25 per investment to receive delayed income payments.
After becoming plan manager and custodian for Merchant Capital investors last year, it emerged around 12,000 clients would face hundreds of thousands of pounds in additional charges.
Responding to a question from Money Marketing on whether the charges Reyker imposed on Merchant Capital customers were fair, Barnwell said Reyker “saved” customers by taking over as custodian.
He said: “What we did as a custodian was save customers from companies that collapsed. This has been looked at by the regulator and the Financial Ombudsman Service numerous times and they have concluded that what we did was fair.”