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  • FIRST POST
    • planteria
    • By planteria 23rd Feb 14, 9:17 AM
    • 5,026Posts
    • 1,116Thanks
    planteria
    Iii
    • #1
    • 23rd Feb 14, 9:17 AM
    Iii 23rd Feb 14 at 9:17 AM
    i am looking at moving from HL to III with my ISA, and potentially SIPP.

    any thoughts re. the following?:

    1. Financial Safety: is money safe with them?
    2. Customer Service Levels: do they sort problems efficiently?
    3. Website functionality?
    4. Paper copies of trades and holdings?
    5. Whether you can invest in US shares?

    They certainly look competitive, for larger portfolios, as here:

    http://langcatfinancial.co.uk/2014/02/strawberry/

    are there any real downsides to III?

    http://www.iii.co.uk/help
Page 1
    • Linton
    • By Linton 23rd Feb 14, 10:55 AM
    • 9,821 Posts
    • 10,078 Thanks
    Linton
    • #2
    • 23rd Feb 14, 10:55 AM
    • #2
    • 23rd Feb 14, 10:55 AM
    1. Financial Safety: is money safe with them?
    2. Customer Service Levels: do they sort problems efficiently?
    3. Website functionality?
    4. Paper copies of trades and holdings?
    5. Whether you can invest in US shares?
    Originally posted by planteria
    1) Money should be safe with any regulated platform as customers money must be held independently of the platform company. This is quite different to the banks where you as a depositor are merely one in a long list of creditors should the bank go bust.

    2) In my experience - yes

    3) Basic but adequate for the purpose. There is everything you need elsewhere on the net ,nothing to stop you continuing to use H-Ls calculators and data.

    4) Dont know

    5) Yes though I havent used it myself. I will do shortly as they are having a 3 week commision free period to allow people to sell their Vodafone Verizon shares.

    I havent found any downsides.
    • ctdctd
    • By ctdctd 23rd Feb 14, 10:59 AM
    • 893 Posts
    • 733 Thanks
    ctdctd
    • #3
    • 23rd Feb 14, 10:59 AM
    • #3
    • 23rd Feb 14, 10:59 AM

    1. Financial Safety: is money safe with them?
    You have the same protection as any other regulated broker.
    2. Customer Service Levels: do they sort problems efficiently?
    Seems fine so far.
    3. Website functionality?
    Basic but works.
    4. Paper copies of trades and holdings?
    Not sure - hopefully have paperless option if they do send lots of trees.
    5. Whether you can invest in US shares?
    Probably as they have a trade free offer on International dealing at the moment.
    Originally posted by planteria
    Downsides
    They might put charges up?
    Might not be able to cope with extra business?
    Do Money Saving sites make you buy more bargains - and spend more money?
    • organic wanabe
    • By organic wanabe 23rd Feb 14, 11:02 AM
    • 801 Posts
    • 755 Thanks
    organic wanabe
    • #4
    • 23rd Feb 14, 11:02 AM
    • #4
    • 23rd Feb 14, 11:02 AM
    I can't specifically answer your questions as I have just recently completed my transfer forms moving from H-L to II when I hand-delivered them to their spanking new offices in West Regent Street, Glasgow (very nice indeed!). I have contacted them by phone on several occasions and they have been friendly and efficient. On Friday, the day after I handed the forms in they phoned to welcome me and I was given the name of a person to contact in future if I had any queries. They also said they would send me a secure message though I have not yet checked my account.

    Over 10 years ago I set up a portfolio on III which contains all the investments held by my DH and I as well as all our Savings/Cash ISAs under the 'Other Assets' category. I have to say that I refer to this daily rather than our linked H-L accounts as it shows everything at a glance. However, I have noted that there is some discussion on the site where people are complaining about changes that have been made (on the Trading Platform I think) but so far it has not affected me in what I do. If it does, in future, then I will keep phoning until they take notice and, if the worst comes to the worst, I can always travel from Edinburgh to Glasgow and harass them in person!
    • Freecall
    • By Freecall 23rd Feb 14, 2:09 PM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 983 Thanks
    Freecall
    • #5
    • 23rd Feb 14, 2:09 PM
    • #5
    • 23rd Feb 14, 2:09 PM
    They might put charges up?
    Originally posted by ctdctd
    Well they might do, as might any company, although they have publicly stated that they will not do so for 2 years.
    • amandajc
    • By amandajc 23rd Feb 14, 3:13 PM
    • 215 Posts
    • 243 Thanks
    amandajc
    • #6
    • 23rd Feb 14, 3:13 PM
    • #6
    • 23rd Feb 14, 3:13 PM
    I sent off my form to transfer my S&S Isa to iii a week ago and so far I am pleased with their service. From my point of view the website appears to do what it needs to do, regular investments can be set up easily and cheaply, their other costs are very competitive and they have arranged for someone to call me tomorrow to answer any questions. So far, so good.
    • planteria
    • By planteria 23rd Feb 14, 6:22 PM
    • 5,026 Posts
    • 1,116 Thanks
    planteria
    • #7
    • 23rd Feb 14, 6:22 PM
    • #7
    • 23rd Feb 14, 6:22 PM
    Thank you all. it is all sounding very positive.

    Yes, the other question i had meant to ask is whether they are likely to put up prices any time soon, as there is no good comparing 'old' pricing from one platform with 'new' pricing from an alternative platform.

    i suppose the only other matter is the subject discussed here:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4897867

    ...registered office in London E1, but the Admin address in Glasgow.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 23rd Feb 14, 6:42 PM
    • 13,438 Posts
    • 11,411 Thanks
    zagfles
    • #8
    • 23rd Feb 14, 6:42 PM
    • #8
    • 23rd Feb 14, 6:42 PM
    1) Money should be safe with any regulated platform as customers money must be held independently of the platform company. This is quite different to the banks where you as a depositor are merely one in a long list of creditors should the bank go bust.
    Originally posted by Linton
    I think the main risk is things like the platform being hacked, fraud (possibly an inside job) or software compromised, which results in assets being transferred abroad or used to purchase some useless stock which is then ramped. If the amount taken is significant enough then the platform, which is obviously responsible, may not have enough to refund investors and the amount may be over the FSCS 50k limit.

    I don't know how much of a risk this sort of thing is, but would have thought the risk is less with the larger platforms. Not sure of the relative sizes of the platforms, anyone know? Is it even worth worrying about?
    • planteria
    • By planteria 23rd Feb 14, 6:52 PM
    • 5,026 Posts
    • 1,116 Thanks
    planteria
    • #9
    • 23rd Feb 14, 6:52 PM
    • #9
    • 23rd Feb 14, 6:52 PM
    yes, i would be interested in the values held via the various platforms too.
    • amandajc
    • By amandajc 23rd Feb 14, 7:27 PM
    • 215 Posts
    • 243 Thanks
    amandajc
    I'm not sure that the size of platform, or how much it is worth in monetary terms, is any real indication of how watertight their security is. Any online finance/banking platform worth its salt will employ all the tools they have available to them to secure their site as the alternative (the risk of a security breach) would be disastrous for them from a business point of view. For that reason I'm happy that iii is as safe as any of the other players.

    I work in IT and I know for a fact that the most common culprit in security breaches is the person on the other side of the screen who doesn't use a secure password, uses it on multiple platforms/services and then re-enters it without checking when asked to in some phishing scam or other.

    Another big risk area is accessing your online banking/finance services over an unsecured wireless hotspot like those provided in coffee shops/hotels.

    iii use a two-tiered authentication system (username/password plus random digit from a pin) which is safer than simple username/ password as it is not as vulnerable to keyloggers. I feel as safe on their site as it's possible to be.
    Last edited by amandajc; 23-02-2014 at 7:30 PM.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 23rd Feb 14, 9:11 PM
    • 13,438 Posts
    • 11,411 Thanks
    zagfles
    I'm not sure that the size of platform, or how much it is worth in monetary terms, is any real indication of how watertight their security is.
    Originally posted by amandajc
    You miss the point. It's not that a bigger platform will be more secure, it's that a bigger platform will likely have a greater ability to absorb any losses from fraud. It's probably unlikely a fraud could occur on a large enough scale to threaten the viability of a large platform but maybe it could with a smaller one.
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 23rd Feb 14, 9:29 PM
    • 12,775 Posts
    • 11,475 Thanks
    jimjames
    yes, i would be interested in the values held via the various platforms too.
    Originally posted by planteria
    I believe iii is run on the COfunds platform.

    https://www.cofunds.co.uk/MediaCentre/Media_Centre_FinancialStrength.aspx

    Despite the messages from HL proclaiming their strength as a FTSE100 company, Cofunds is also run by L&G which is a FTSE100 company too.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • planteria
    • By planteria 24th Feb 14, 8:30 AM
    • 5,026 Posts
    • 1,116 Thanks
    planteria
    I believe iii is run on the COfunds platform.

    https://www.cofunds.co.uk/MediaCentre/Media_Centre_FinancialStrength.aspx

    Despite the messages from HL proclaiming their strength as a FTSE100 company, Cofunds is also run by L&G which is a FTSE100 company too.
    Originally posted by jimjames
    ah, so CoFunds is owned by Legal&General.

    and iii is an independent business, that utilises the CoFunds platform?

    ....i am not particularly concerned, by the way, just interested to understand.
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 24th Feb 14, 12:12 PM
    • 12,775 Posts
    • 11,475 Thanks
    jimjames
    ah, so CoFunds is owned by Legal&General.

    and iii is an independent business, that utilises the CoFunds platform?

    ....i am not particularly concerned, by the way, just interested to understand.
    Originally posted by planteria
    Yes, Cofunds is a wholly owned subsidiary of L&G as they bought out the previous co-owners a while back.

    iii is an independent business using that platform, as do many others including Cavendish for historic customers (including me). I believe Cofunds may be the largest platform in the UK but I'm not 100% on that as it hasn't been easy to check.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • Wobblydeb
    • By Wobblydeb 24th Feb 14, 3:43 PM
    • 1,001 Posts
    • 1,467 Thanks
    Wobblydeb
    I have been with II for a few years now - predominantly investing in shares.

    i am looking at moving from HL to III with my ISA, and potentially SIPP.

    any thoughts re. the following?:

    1. Financial Safety: is money safe with them? Like anything else, I would split your money across financial institutions.
    2. Customer Service Levels: do they sort problems efficiently? I have been unhappy with the speed of payment of some dividends/interest on bonds. They do respond to secure messages, but can take a while to resolve things. Having said that - they have always satisfactorily resolved my queries and problems.
    3. Website functionality? Basic, but does the job
    4. Paper copies of trades and holdings? Not something I have used.
    5. Whether you can invest in US shares? Yes - I am now the proud owner of some Verizon shares
    Originally posted by planteria
    I've got a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel.
    • WatsonNimrod
    • By WatsonNimrod 24th Feb 14, 3:51 PM
    • 1,844 Posts
    • 2,257 Thanks
    WatsonNimrod

    1. Financial Safety: is money safe with them?
    Been answered adequtely already
    2. Customer Service Levels: do they sort problems efficiently?
    For me so far so good, really good call centre staff, with good knowledge and not to 'graduate trainee scheme' condesending that some HL staff were getting (thats just my personal view obviously and not a dig at Graduate trainee schemes!!)
    3. Website functionality?
    No issues at all, never once gone down, I trade 4-5 times per week in my SIPP for the last few months since I have been with them
    4. Paper copies of trades and holdings?
    er, havent asked for any!
    5. Whether you can invest in US shares?
    Yes, definately
    Originally posted by planteria
    See above!
    • planteria
    • By planteria 24th Feb 14, 5:12 PM
    • 5,026 Posts
    • 1,116 Thanks
    planteria
    thanks guys.

    they don't seem to have a lot of competition in terms of being able to trade US shares. i have some Amazon shares in my HL ISA and fancy holding them for the foreseeable.
    • amandajc
    • By amandajc 1st Mar 14, 9:33 AM
    • 215 Posts
    • 243 Thanks
    amandajc
    Just an update on this.

    I'm in the process of transferring my S&S Isa to iii. All is going well so far. I've received prompt and informative replies to a couple of secure messages I've sent, the video tutorial explaining how the interface works is very useful (to an online trading novice like myself) and I've also benefited from a 20 min "welcome" phone call to go through any questions I had.

    This was all confidence building and I've now started by making a couple of buys to see how the whole thing works before my transfer arrives and I can get on with re-allocating it properly.

    We will also be transferring my husband's S&S ISA once mine is up and running as the two accounts can be linked and the quarterly fee only paid once which is good news.

    I understand the transfer offer of up to 120 cash and 120 trading credit has been extended to 30th April. Has anyone any experience of when this actually gets credited?
    • planteria
    • By planteria 3rd Mar 14, 11:13 AM
    • 5,026 Posts
    • 1,116 Thanks
    planteria
    i was looking at the funds available via III last night...
    there are a couple i have my eye on which are not available, but are via HL.
    i wonder whether III are growing, in this respect, and whether they adopt the same approach as HL, in saying 'speak to us, and we will try to help you buy any other investments you want'..not that ive ever tested them re. this.
    • planteria
    • By planteria 3rd Mar 14, 3:45 PM
    • 5,026 Posts
    • 1,116 Thanks
    planteria
    wow...finally getting round to this and have been trying to speak to someone at III. being cut off, ignored, put in queues...not a good first impression i must say.
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