View more on these topics

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.



A question of decency: How much is too much to pay for advice?

Advisers are being challenged over the appropriateness of ongoing advice fees as it emerges clients of major advice brands are being charged upwards of £60,000 a year for advice. Money Marketing has sought to quantify exactly what is being charged and approached 20 adv-ice firms for details of what they charge for ongoing advice and what […]

Stephanie Flanders 700 x 450

Stephanie Flanders: The world is still looking for a Plan B

The UK will be living the consequences of Brexit for years to come – yet the rest of the world seems to have moved on. At least that is the conclusion you would draw when observing recent moves in global stock markets. That said, there is no getting away from the fact the global recovery […]


IFA’s pension cold calling petition passes 1,000 signatures

A petition started by an IFA to ban pension cold calls has reached 1,000 signatures. Red Circle Financial Planning director Darren Cooke started the petition two weeks ago, and is calling for the ban in order to stop vulnerable individuals being sold unregulated investments or getting taken in by scammers. The petition says: “Cold calling […]


Govt appoints Aviva boss as older workers’ tsar

Aviva UK Life chief executive Andy Briggs has been appointed as the government’s new older workers’ tsar. Briggs will be charged with encouraging more employers to hire workers over the age of 50 and keep them in the workplace for longer. Briggs, who will take the title Business Champion for Older Workers, will explain the […]

William Littlewood “betting that QE won’t work”

Journalist Alexis Xydias interviews Artemis manager William Littlewood about his views on bond, equity and currency markets and the impact of a Greek exit from the EU. With bond yields at “ludicrous” levels, William believes a tipping point for bond markets is sure to come. As a result, his Strategic Assets Fund holds government bond shorts to the tune of 100 per […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 15 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. complaints ..probably about clients NOT being told about exit penalties.

  2. Nicholas Pleasure 6th October 2016 at 11:49 am

    I’m not sure I care very much. If clients are unhappy and complain at least SJP has the resources and PII to pay out. Let’s keep our focus on our regulator that seems happy to allow the continued sale of unregulated investments by regulated advisers and then gets the FSCS to claim the money back from honest firms.

  3. Is there model being found out at last? ‘Pile it high, sell it dear’.

  4. Is that 98% upheld!!! (or 96% or 38% or 81%). Amazing!

  5. Apologies. How ignorant am I. Their model.

  6. Harry, is their (or there) model being found out? You charge an enormous fee, you keep charging an enormous fee and less than 1% of your client base makes a complaint? The only thing to find out is why more people aren’t doing this!
    Even if they upheld 100% of all complaints against them, who is making money?

  7. …..and so the saga continues

  8. 98% thats higher than PPI claims !!!
    If any other company had complaint stats like this, our incompetent regulator would be all over them

  9. So 96% of people who complained had just cause for so doing, is that correct?

    If so, does that warrant a root-branch investigation of their business by the FCA maybe (I don’t know, just asking, but it’s certainly rather alarming)?

  10. And what will be done about it………..nothing, their whole business model is not RDR compliant nor TCF friendly, and I say again….what will be done?

  11. It’s 1% complaint rate in a 6 month period, so 1 in 50 of their clients is making a complaint every year!

  12. Mark, with all due respect, it’s not about how many actually complain, it’s also about how many do not and may have a need to!

    96% of the 1,700 complaints being upheld for a business of this size is not good, however you dress it up.

  13. Looks like there’s a perfect Ambulance Chasing business opportunity against SJP

  14. Should their (SJP) FSCS levies not reflect this ?

    One would have to presume, the SJP business model is quite high risk !

    I wonder if this is the unicorn, that is the regulatory dividend ? it seems the worse you are the more you get away with…….

    The FCA’s parallel universe !

  15. WhistlingBob ~ Unless the number of complaints against SJP increases significantly, the answer to your question is Nothing, for the simple reason that, provided complainants are swiftly and fully recompensed, the regulator isn’t that concerned. Given the damage to the overall reputation of the industry that such a number of complaints cause, it ought to be, of course, but its position appears to be that it has other, more important fish to fry.

Leave a comment