St James Place and how to complain

Hello all,

I'm looking for some advice about the best way to make a complaint about/to St James Place.

I look after a Trust for a family member who inherited money that she cannot have until she is older. It is invested with St James Place.

From start to finish, the way the company have handled the Trust has been appalling. At every turn they mess up, make mistakes, do not communicate and do not appear to have the paperwork right.

I think the final, final straw is what's happening now. I asked if the trust fund could be released to my niece a year early (cost of living and she has a baby now) and they asked me to send over the Trust Deeds so they could check. I have never had a Trust Deed, never seen it and had no idea that it should have been done. They have said I should make a complaint to SJP head office and if it's upheld, they will pay for a solicitor to draft the deed. If not, I'm liable????????

This is just one in a long line of mistakes. I honestly don't know where to begin.

My account manager says I should complain to SJP.

I was wondering about complaining to the FSA.

I've never managed a trust before and I did put myself in what I thought was their capable hands.

How to move forward from here? What is the best way to make a complaint and to who? Them or the FSA? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you in advance.
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Comments

  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,627
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    You can't go direct to FOS. You have to go via their complaints procedure & only after a deadlock letter in reality before you can go to FOS
    Life in the slow lane
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 29,884
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    https://www.sjp.co.uk/help-centre/make-complaint

    You have to start by complaining to them, and then if they don't resolve it to your satisfaction, the next step would be escalation to the ombudsman, as outlined on that page.  The FSA is the Food Standards Agency so they won't be interested, and neither will the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who delegate consumer complaint handling to FOS.
  • callum9999
    callum9999 Posts: 4,375
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    I can't give you advice on whether they've messed up or not, but do as they say - make a complaint to SJP and then, if you're unhappy with their response, make a complaint to the FOS. They won't entertain a complaint from you unless you've already tried to resolve it with SJP directly.
  • dales1
    dales1 Posts: 225
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    Perhaps the Trust Deed (in this case), is simply the Will in which the bequest to a minor was made.

  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,193
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    Can you explain how the trust came into effect? Did the will explicitly create a discretionary trust or was it one of these clauses that is no more than a wish that the beneficiary does not receive their inheritance until a certain age? 

    If this is actually a bare trust then she has been entitled to her inheritance from the age of 18 regardless of the age stated in the will.

    What is the exact wording (redact any personal info)) of the will for this bequest?
  • Malthusian
    Malthusian Posts: 10,835
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    It sounds as if you would benefit from some independent financial advice and/or legal advice, as SJP's advice seems to be about as useful to you as a chocolate teapot. Making a complaint may result in compensation for any losses or inconvenience but is not going to result in them figuring out how to give useful advice.

    As a trustee of this trust you have a duty to know what the terms of the trust are, so you can follow them. But if you are paying SJP for advice, it sounds like they should be giving you more help than they are.

    As Dales1 says, if this is a Will Trust (an inheritance was mentioned) the "deed" may simply be the Will. Another possibility is that a Trust was set up prior to death. There's no point SJP talking about drawing up a deed if there already is one.

    You need to find out whether there is in fact a trust deed already. The starting point is the Will which left the inheritance. If you don't have a copy you can download it from the probate registry. It will either contain the terms of the trust or it will reference an existing trust. 
  • Billxx
    Billxx Posts: 206
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    I don't think you need a Trust Deed.  As an executor of a will I was tasked with setting up a fund to be paid to a benefactor when they reached 25.  I set the fund up as "TRUSTEES OF THE EXECUTOR OF THE WILL OF XXXXXXXXXX".  Paid in the sum to be invested, several years later cashed in the fund and transferred it to the benefactor.

    Mind you this was a few years ago, so may be the rules have changed.

    Kind Regards,

    Bill
  • LHW99
    LHW99 Posts: 4,058
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    In regard to legal advice, check your home policy, you may have a legal advice add-on, which would enable you to get some guidance on the legal side of what the will said and what has been done / requested by SJP
  • Casseopia123
    Casseopia123 Posts: 12
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    eskbanker said:
    https://www.sjp.co.uk/help-centre/make-complaint

    You have to start by complaining to them, and then if they don't resolve it to your satisfaction, the next step would be escalation to the ombudsman, as outlined on that page.  The FSA is the Food Standards Agency so they won't be interested, and neither will the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who delegate consumer complaint handling to FOS.
    This really made me laugh. You're absolutely correct in that the Food Standards Agency will not be able to help me with my complaint! 

    Thanks for your response and for making me laugh when I really needed one,
  • Casseopia123
    Casseopia123 Posts: 12
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    dales1 said:
    Perhaps the Trust Deed (in this case), is simply the Will in which the bequest to a minor was made.

    Ah OK. Well then in that case, should my account manager have known something this obvious? He does know the trust was set up following a will and if the will can be the deed, wouldn't he know this? 


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