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Standard Life agrees redress after three-year Isa blunder

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Standard Life has agreed to compensate a client after it failed to complete an £11,000 Isa transfer and then took three years to return the money to the client.

In 2009, Co-operative IFA adviser Stephen Maier instructed Standard Life to transfer £11,409.28 that a client held in a Standard Life Isa to a five-year structured product plan with Woolwich Plan Managers, part of Barclays.

Standard claims it sent a cheque on February 9, 2009 but Woolwich advised Standard on March 11 that it had not received the cheque and that it needed the money by March 13 to proceed. Standard says it could not reproduce the cheque in that time and so closed the case and moved the investment to its client money account.

Woolwich wrote to Co-op IFA on March 18, saying the transfer had been rejected.

Maier says he was not aware that the transfer did not go through because Woolwich wrote to the Co-op IFA central administration centre instead of to him personally.

Following a review of the client money account in January this year, Standard Life reissued the cheque to Woolwich, which had since closed the product and returned the cheque. Standard Life then sent the cheque to the client.

Maier, who is now a financial planner at Inspire IFA, asked Standard Life why the original investment had been returned without explanation and without any attempt at redress.

This week, Standard offered the client £2,770.74 to cover the lost investment return he would have received from Woolwich at 8 per cent a year and a redress payment of £250.

A Standard spokeswoman says: “Standard Life apologises for the part it played in the errors surrounding this case.”

Maier says: “The redress offer amount is derisory. Standard Life has handled this very poorly.”

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Comments

There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Henry Camilleri 23rd March 2012 at 9:10 am

    Why am I not surprised?

  2. I would congratulate Standard Life for not getting him into the structured product. I think the client has done a lot better with the 8% compo than the likely return form the woolwich structured product, me thinks!!!

  3. So Mr Maier never followed up to ensure that the business had been processed himself and three years later he criticises the service provided by Standard Life! I think you are both at fault Mr Maier!

  4. Financial advice 101 – utilise ISA allowance – so losing ISA allowance to go into a SP (presumably not tax wrapped) umm…UNSUITABLE is what i think the FSA calls it.!

    Probably did her a favour by cocking up

  5. RE: Big ears comment- Dont quite follow why the recommendation had to invlove losing the ISA benefit??
    Many SP’s can accpet ISA transfers thus retainig their tax benefit and the report above does mention the fact it was an ISA transfer.

    Perhaps a little harsh on the adviser without knowing full facts of the case??

  6. So Standard Life cocked-up, although the original fault could have been placed at Royal Mail’s feet as the posted cheque failed to arrive.
    Having been advised of this they put the money into their client money account. They failed to inform the IFA – but one wonders who had this agency – the IFA or Co-op IFA administration?
    THREE YEARS later, the IFA, now with another network (to whom he must have novated the client without checking the client file) realises the missing product and asks for an explanation from Standard Life.

    Standard Life acknowledge that they had some responsibility in this chain of events but compensate the client as if the Woolwich Bond had performed as it said on the tin by escalating the frozen premium by 8% per year – although there is no guarantee that the Woolwich Bond WILL produce 8% per year – it still has two years to run!
    Added to that, they make an ex-gratia payment of £250 in compensation which, frankly, is more than generous.

    What has the client lost? Nothing. What has the client suffered? Nothing. What distress or trauma has been suffered by the client? None.
    So why have they been compensated, and for what?
    There is a strong chance that this unfortunate series of events has left the client better off than they would have been, never mind the compensation.
    I think Standard have been more than fair in acknowledging the errors that they may have made (which could be debatable), provided full redress to the client to cover the maximum loss possible, and given them a generous cheque by way of saying, “Sorry.”
    Derisory? The only person who comes out of this as having provided derisory service and seems to have fallen down on at least three TCF points is the IFA.

    Roll on retirement!

  7. Wow

    Big of Standard Life to cop the lot.

    Mr Maier should be liable for much of this.

    Was the Woolwich structured plan an ISA or not?

    Did Mr Maier not talk to the client ever again?

    Do Co-op admin not coomunicate with their advisers.

    Amazing – what a shoddy adviser, what a shoddy firm (Co-op).

    What excellent consumer relations by Standard.

  8. Just a minute – what on earth was the IFA doing through all of this? If a client of mine had not been invested I would have known about it and be chasing it up agressively. The IFA has a lot of responsibilty for this.

  9. alastair Barron 27th March 2012 at 11:42 am

    I reckon the Guvnor could fix this!!

  10. Dont you just love it when IFA’s comment on things when they haven’t gathered all the information….like half the clowns above!!!!

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