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Towry and Ascentric in transfer row

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Towry and wrap platform Ascentric have locked horns over delays in transferring assets between the firms, which are now spanning into several months.

Ascentric managing director Hugo Thorman says the delays are down to Towry because it is failing to provide the full details to allow client transfers. He says: “Unfortunately, Towry have not provided the details we require of how many units belong to which clients to reconcile with the total nominee holding.”

But Towry head of marketing Peter Foster says: “Why would we do that? It does not make sense. Ascentric are getting pressure from their advisers.”

Foster says the delays are due to “reconciliation issues” that are being processed by platforms such as Ascentric.

Hundreds of former Edward Jones clients requested to transfer away when Towry bought the firm, triggering a backlog. Towry says the backlog has been cleared and now only the reconciliation issues remain.

Bedford-based investor Paul Gallagher says he and other family members have been waiting for more than four months.

He says: “Ascentric have their version of the situation and Towry have there’s. All I know for certain is that people like myself, my brothers, mum and no doubt many more have been stuck in limbo for months while this toing and froing plays itself out.”

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. So that is Transact, Standard and now Ascentric all saying the same thing?

  2. The backlog has not been cleared. Towry said that it was cleared in early August. I know that since that time no more than 20% of clients who had been delayed at that time have now had all their assets transferred. 80% of clients have not.

    Each time I have an issue with a transfer where Ascentric are the receiving scheme Ascentric can show me clear evidence of how much they have to chase Towry for all the information required to complete the transfers.

    Towry are a law unto themselves and I would recommend that anyone dealing with them, including the media, the Ombudsman, the FSA, should only begin to believe what they say when detailed written evidence has been provided by Towry.

  3. There is clearly a much larger issue here than just Towry’s backlog. Surely this is an excellent example of why platforms need to sort out a industry standard platform to platform transfer process.

    If such a process had existed most of the issues highlighted by this would never have happened.

    Whilst the platforms will bleat on about their pilot scheme they have all been woefully bad at sorting this issue out and only got going when the FSA threatened to impose a process.

    This whole story reflects badly on not just Towry but the whole platform market. Come guys sort it out!

  4. Towry rely on SEI for their own platform administration and they may tell you that SEI’s limitations and processes are apparently partly to blame for the troubles transferring between platform providers. You might want to therefore avoid the Bestinvest platform which Bestinvest have just announced is going to be supported by SEI!

  5. The FSA needs to step in start imposing Fines with deadlines on Towry to sort this mess. They are 100% at fault. Estimates indicate that hundreds of millions are being held in collectives and of course Towry retaining trail fees while causing former client who reject their proposition stress. FSA I suggest:
    £1million if not sorted by 30 Nov
    £2million more if not by 31 Dec
    £3million mor eif not by 31 Jan 11
    and so on.
    You watch Towry move then.
    This is also a sad reflection on the FSA and TCF.
    See http://www.treatingcustomersshabbily.co.uk.
    The final and ironic point is that Towry have started writing to clients with smaller clients telling them to leave by 10th Dec 10 or the will sell out and send them a cheque.
    This company is full of double standards and the FSA should act to sort!

  6. I spoke with Peter Foster some time ago about a case where there was a clear inconsistency in that of 3 Standard Life Funds, 1 was transferred, 1 had disappeared into the ether and the 3rd, was still in the Towry account according to their own statement.
    I have yet to hear back from Mr Foster, despite having e-mailed him on several occasions, lately asking where his investigations had got to.
    Perhaps now I will hear back from Mr Foster.

  7. All this just proves to me what i have thought all along. WRAPs are there for the convenience of one party only, the adviser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Dear previous contributor, please can you qualify your comment.
    WRAPS and Platforms offer consolidation and clarifty and also enables simplification on FSCS cover qualification. It speeds up the advice process, reduces security risk because there are less statements being posted all over the country and often results in the client paying less for the portfolio. Perhaps you have had a bad experience of one of the earlier companies that offer a very narrow service and most IFA’s would not choose to work with.

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