SJP ups compensation for client after she struggles to get hold of adviser despite paying ongoing fees
A client of St James’s Place has won redress after complaining she was charged for ongoing advice but had only met her adviser twice in five years.
Sue Preece-Murray told The Sunday Times that ongoing advice charges from her £300,000 investment with SJP had added up to more than £6,000 since she became a client in 2012, but she had rarely been able to contact her adviser.
Preece-Murray says she was often informed her adviser was on holiday and she offered to drive 200 miles to make a meeting easier.
She was offered £1,900 in compensation in March as SJP acknowledged its service had “not been what we would expect”. When she rejected the offer, SJP revised the payment up to £5,000 last month.
Preece-Murray expressed her frustration however that ongoing charges will still be levied unless she wants to pay early exit charges to switch adviser.
This is because most of her investment was made in a pre-RDR contract, before the FCA introduced rules giving clients more power to discontinue their ongoing fees for services they do not want.
SJP has agreed to cancel the ongoing advice charges for investments Preece-Murray made in 2013 after the introduction of RDR.
SJP told the Sunday Times: “In our experience, one of the things our clients value most is their relationship with an adviser. However, we accept there may be exceptional circumstances, such as [the Preece-Murray case], where this may no longer be the case and on these occasions we will seek a solution on a case-by-case basis.”