SJP arm upholds 96% of complaints

SJP chief executive David Bellamy

More than 1,700 complaints were opened against companies in the St James’s Place group in the first six months of the year, FCA data shows.

There were 565 complaints new complaints against SJP’s wealth management arm between January and June. 231 centered on pensions business and 236 were investment related complaints.

A further complaints 597 were opened against SJP UK plc, with more than 400 concerning pensions business.

SJP Investment Administration, another subsidiary of the SJP Wealth Management Group, reported 602 complaints.

SJP Wealth Management closed 555 complaints over the period, upholding 38 per cent.

At 96 per cent, however, SJP Investment Administration has the highest uphold rate for complaints of any company listed in the FCA’s data. St James’s Place UK plc has the sixth highest uphold rate at 81 per cent.

SJP Investment Administration looks after the administration of ISA’s and unit trust products. SJP UK plc, is responsible for the administration of life assurance, pension and investment products.

An SJP spokesman sys: “Whilst we are disappointed to receive any complaints, we believe this represents a very small ratio. SJP is committed to ensuring clients are treated fairly and we are always seeking to learn and improve the client experience.”

The level of complaints represents around 1 per cent of SJP’s 550,000 clients.

Hargreaves Lansdown also reported more than 1,000 complaints. 973 related to investments. It upheld 24 per cent of all complaints.

Overall, financial services firms recorded a 2.6 per cent reduction in new complaints between January and June 2016 compared to the previous six months, with the total number falling to just over two million.

FCA director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard says: “To see another six months of reduction in the total number complaints is encouraging.

“Firms still need to continue to ensure they are doing all they can to reduce consumer dissatisfaction, but the figures show firms are taking our feedback seriously”.

High street banks continued to report the most complaints over investments, with Barclays, HSBC and Santander taking the top three spots.

Meanwhile, for decumulation, life and pensions, large providers Prudential, Friends Life and Royal London came top of the complaints table. Each reported at least 4,500 complaints.