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  • FIRST POST
    • TonyWarwick
    • By TonyWarwick 26th Apr 17, 1:42 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    TonyWarwick
    Hargreaves Lansdown transfer obstructions
    • #1
    • 26th Apr 17, 1:42 PM
    Hargreaves Lansdown transfer obstructions 26th Apr 17 at 1:42 PM
    Sorry this is a long post, but I hope interesting.

    Both my wife and I recently decided to transfer our ISA accounts from Hargreaves Lansdown to Interactive Investor. The reason is simple - it will save us more than 1600 pa in fees for the same holdings.

    We filled out the II transfer forms as required, and these were sent in to HL, but HL have declined both transfers:
    1. They declined mine on the grounds that the client number I had given was wrong. I had quoted the full client number beginning with 00xxxxxx (which is how THEY quoted it on their early documents) whereas they say I should have just quoted the xxxxxx part. Given that I had also given my full name, date of birth and full address, it seems absurd that they are unable to resolve this, and I suspect they are being deliberately obstructive, especially in light of ...
    2. They declined my wife's because she had "failed to pass money laundering regulations". They told II that they had requested AML documents from her (they hadn't) but had not received them. My wife's account with HL has been open and live since mid-2015.

    On challenging HL about these refusals, I was told that the first problem was all II's fault because they 'should have known the leading zeros were not needed'. This seems very thin, but on asking them to proceed they insist that II restart the process with a new transfer request.

    They then went on to inform my wife that they had not yet contacted her about this, but that they were 'about to' request AML documentation - and that this had to be done through the post and could take as much as 10 days to arrive. She asked why, when her account had been open for some years, they needed this, and she was told that it is a Statutory Requirement. She then observed that they hadn't requested this from her husband (me) and they said they 'probably would' in future.

    I have looked carefully at HMRCs guidance document for ISA managers (chapter 11) and can find absolutely no reference to AML requirements on the 'outgoing' manager on transferring out, so I am wondering if HLs claim that this is a Statutory Requirement is true. I suspect that they are simply being obstructive and instigating deliberate delays.

    Anyone with similar experiences?
    Last edited by TonyWarwick; 26-04-2017 at 1:44 PM. Reason: Minor correction
Page 2
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 15th Jul 17, 12:49 PM
    • 10,604 Posts
    • 12,136 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    I transferred money INTO HL from another pension a few weeks ago (a substantial amount).

    There was a hiccup which required a phone call and a letter from me and then another phone call. Essentially (and in hindsight) it was down to them being ultra careful about making everything 100% correct when there were teeny little issues which any "sensible" person woudl have said didn't matter.

    Maybe had i been transferring it out i'd have come to the conclusion it was a conspiracy to stop the money leaving (which makes no sense*) so should I instead have concluded that it was a conspiracy to stop money going in? No, its just them being ultra picky. Dont forget they have big fines imposed on them if they screw up, maybe it takes an extra week or 6 but if thats (say) a 100k fine, and also if you are the person processing that and dont fancy losing your job because you cut a corner, you will stick to the process.

    Here for example is a recent case where a CSR helped out a "customer" (who was actually a fraudster) by evading process and ended up with the real customer getting money stolen from his Paypal account. Now imagine its something similar but pensions. All happening because they didnt stick rigidly to a process.

    * It makes no sense because the money will go out eventually, why would they impose a lot of costs on themselves to draw the process out? Those staff could instead have been helping clients and making them a better organization to work with and therefore retaining other clients.
    • slinga
    • By slinga 31st Jul 17, 10:32 AM
    • 1,217 Posts
    • 268 Thanks
    slinga
    Just wondering if I'd would have to go through this AML stuff if I just decided to cash up and transfer that cash to my bank??

    Similarly on death does that AML reqirement still happen?
    Last edited by slinga; 31-07-2017 at 10:54 AM.
    It's your money. Except if it's the governments.
    • Chordeiles
    • By Chordeiles 13th Sep 18, 6:15 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Chordeiles
    Is this a record ?
    It's been ages since I meant to post the end of the story about my transfer out of HL. Well not so long in the timescales of HL transfers, maybe

    My application to transfer my SIPP from Hargreaves Lansdown to Alliance Trust arrived at Alliance Trust on 16th May 2017. Eventually all funds were transferred and the final step of the cash balance appearing in my Alliance Trust account was on 22nd January 2018. That's an outrageous 251 days to complete a SIPP transfer.

    Was Hargreaves Lansdown to blame ? Well, after a slightly sticky start with Alliance Trust someone there actually started giving me regular updates, which was really helpful. In contrast I frequently had to bother HL to get any action or even answers out of them, and their replies were never aligned well with what Alliance Trust were telling me. Typically it looked like letters from Alliance Trust were arriving at HL but HL were then proceeding to lose crucial parts of them. Can I prove this ? Of course not. Should I have complained to the regulator about this ? Probably (then they could have investigated like I can't).

    But of course one just breathes a heavy sigh of relief to be finally rid of these incompetents and moves on. But my opinion of Hargreaves Lansdown only slid further down the scale during this whole sorry process.

    Others here have pointed out that HL could have no motivation for causing delays. But I would argue that they managed to delay my transfer beyond the date on which they calculate their client numbers (and no-one can dispute their propensity to be boastful !). Also I still have an ISA at HL (no rush to transfer as weighting towards equities means fees are low) and my wife still has SIPP and ISA at HL, so they have effectively delayed the transfer out of those (because we wanted experience of Alliance Trust before moving everything).
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 13th Sep 18, 6:57 PM
    • 94,517 Posts
    • 62,466 Thanks
    dunstonh
    My application to transfer my SIPP from Hargreaves Lansdown to Alliance Trust arrived at Alliance Trust on 16th May 2017. Eventually all funds were transferred and the final step of the cash balance appearing in my Alliance Trust account was on 22nd January 2018. That's an outrageous 251 days to complete a SIPP transfer.
    That is why I prefer doing cash transfers rather than in-specie transfers.

    You are reliant on the fund house and the speed they do things is variable. That is why risk warnings exist that it can take 6 months or so to re-register.

    Next time, do a cash transfer and it will be moved in about a week.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • masonic
    • By masonic 13th Sep 18, 7:41 PM
    • 9,824 Posts
    • 7,033 Thanks
    masonic
    Having been through an in specie transfer once, I don't think I'd do it again. A few days out of the market is a price worth paying.
    • aroominyork
    • By aroominyork 13th Sep 18, 10:59 PM
    • 644 Posts
    • 217 Thanks
    aroominyork
    I am over six months into transferring from HL to II and nearly there. II have been a story of incompetence and half truths (I guess it’s the price you pay for the price you pay) but the last hurdle has been transferring Sanlam Strategic Bond. Sanlam do not process transfers electronically and their paper forms only allow two decimal places. I hold to three decimal places so, to cut a very long story short, HL have added 0.002 units to my holding.

    II did admit their fault when I complained, explaining I was paying double fees (theirs kicked in while I was still paying HL). They compensated 150 and cancelled a year of quarterly fees while still giving me trading credits.
    Last edited by aroominyork; 13-09-2018 at 11:08 PM.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 13th Sep 18, 11:37 PM
    • 26,489 Posts
    • 15,730 Thanks
    xylophone
    In specie transfer? Never again....
    • Chordeiles
    • By Chordeiles 15th Sep 18, 7:37 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Chordeiles
    You are reliant on the fund house and the speed they do things is variable.
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    Having been through an in specie transfer once, I don't think I'd do it again. A few days out of the market is a price worth paying.
    Originally posted by masonic
    Many thanks for these contributions, but I can only agree up to a very limited point.

    The phase where fund managers were re-registering holdings was very visible to me (as I was watching like a hawk !), funds would disappear from the portfolio view at HL to pop up (eventually) at Alliance trust. Yes the time this took was disappointingly long - but a mere "drop in the ocean" compared to the total time the transfer took. Certainly all within the last 50 days, which would have left me out of the market for over 200 days using the "faster" cash transfer method. That would have represented a huge loss of gains (this was last year, remember). I don't dispute that a cash transfer might have been faster, but I certainly don't regret doing the "in-specie" transfer.

    But now in September 2018 being out of the market doesn't seem like such a dreadful idea, indeed having just taken some profits (and thanks to bid rumours giving me a comfortable exit from RPC !) I've way more cash in my ISA than usual, so maybe it's time to go for it !
    • masonic
    • By masonic 15th Sep 18, 7:54 PM
    • 9,824 Posts
    • 7,033 Thanks
    masonic
    MThe phase where fund managers were re-registering holdings was very visible to me (as I was watching like a hawk !), funds would disappear from the portfolio view at HL to pop up (eventually) at Alliance trust. Yes the time this took was disappointingly long - but a mere "drop in the ocean" compared to the total time the transfer took. Certainly all within the last 50 days, which would have left me out of the market for over 200 days using the "faster" cash transfer method. That would have represented a huge loss of gains (this was last year, remember). I don't dispute that a cash transfer might have been faster, but I certainly don't regret doing the "in-specie" transfer.
    Originally posted by Chordeiles
    You wouldn't have been out of the market for over 200 days if you transferred as cash. It is the reregistration process that slowed everything down.

    For a real world example, see this thread, where a fellow long-suffering victim of an in specie transfer from HL to II decided to play it safe and do not one but two ISA transfers as cash (from S&S ISA to cash ISA, then from cash ISA to S&S ISA) in the space of 3 weeks to transfer from II back to HL. That was four years ago and things have sped up since then (but clearly not if transferring in specie)
    • StellaN
    • By StellaN 15th Sep 18, 8:07 PM
    • 241 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    StellaN
    I must say that I transferred a S&S ISA from Fidelity to iWeb in-specie and it was remarkably easy and quick in a matter of a couple of weeks. Both Fidelity and iWeb were very efficient in the electronic process so why do other platforms have such major issues.
    • LHW99
    • By LHW99 15th Sep 18, 9:36 PM
    • 1,444 Posts
    • 1,321 Thanks
    LHW99
    I find it interesting that the government suggest it should only take 30 days for an S&S ISA transfer, but for a SIPP, which in many cases would hold similar funds etc there is no such guideline, and in very many cases seems to take far far longer.
    https://www.gov.uk/individual-savings-accounts/transferring-your-isa
    • reeac
    • By reeac 16th Sep 18, 8:55 AM
    • 1,233 Posts
    • 500 Thanks
    reeac
    Just wondering if I'd would have to go through this AML stuff if I just decided to cash up and transfer that cash to my bank??

    Similarly on death does that AML reqirement still happen?
    Originally posted by slinga
    Last week we closed a joint HL account which originally had held shares prior to separating them into individual ownership and thence into ISAs leaving behind some residual cash. All done very easily by phone once we had nominated a bank account for the cash to go to.
    • Chordeiles
    • By Chordeiles 16th Sep 18, 11:16 AM
    • 111 Posts
    • 51 Thanks
    Chordeiles
    You wouldn't have been out of the market for over 200 days if you transferred as cash.
    Originally posted by masonic
    The confidence with which you make that assertion still hasn't convinced me. Please understand that with well over half a million invested in a rising market, it's a risk I wasn't prepared to take !

    If I ever do a cash transfer from HL to Alliance Trust (and as I said above, I might now) I'll report back here (if this thread is still alive).
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 16th Sep 18, 11:18 AM
    • 94,517 Posts
    • 62,466 Thanks
    dunstonh
    Certainly all within the last 50 days, which would have left me out of the market for over 200 days using the "faster" cash transfer method.
    With cash transfers you are out of the market for 2-3 days typically with perhaps a week being the longest.

    I must say that I transferred a S&S ISA from Fidelity to iWeb in-specie and it was remarkably easy and quick in a matter of a couple of weeks. Both Fidelity and iWeb were very efficient in the electronic process so why do other platforms have such major issues.
    It is rarely the platform that is the issue. it is the fund house.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • masonic
    • By masonic 16th Sep 18, 11:30 AM
    • 9,824 Posts
    • 7,033 Thanks
    masonic
    The confidence with which you make that assertion still hasn't convinced me. Please understand that with well over half a million invested in a rising market, it's a risk I wasn't prepared to take !

    If I ever do a cash transfer from HL to Alliance Trust (and as I said above, I might now) I'll report back here (if this thread is still alive).
    Originally posted by Chordeiles
    It's up to you what you do. I'm just saying having done both stock and cash transfers I'd rather be out of the market for a week or two than in limbo for 4-8 months.

    If you were out of the market for 200 days in a cash transfer you'd be entitled to compensation for any loss you suffered as a result. There are cases upheld by the Financial Ombudsman Services where people have been able to claim for the loss they suffered when an ISA transfer has been unduly delayed.
    Last edited by masonic; 16-09-2018 at 11:34 AM.
    • bearshare
    • By bearshare 16th Sep 18, 10:20 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    bearshare
    Over the years, I have done HL to iWeb, Standard Life to HL, Fideility to iWeb and Fidelity to Youinvest.

    Hi to iWeb took by far the longest, and iWeb kept me updated (generally, still waiting for HL) throughout.
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