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  • FIRST POST
    • dafad_dew
    • By dafad_dew 16th Apr 18, 10:50 AM
    • 5Posts
    • 4Thanks
    dafad_dew
    Share Incentive Plan - where to complain?
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 18, 10:50 AM
    Share Incentive Plan - where to complain? 16th Apr 18 at 10:50 AM
    Hi,

    I've been in my company Share Incentive Plan for over 5 years, and wanted to transfer shares out of it. CREST transfer wasn't possible (no explanation), so went for certificate option instead. Nothing heard for a couple of weeks, and I phoned them up. Seems like their timescales for transferring shares out is 6-8 _weeks, and they've also sold some of my shares to pay for this transfer.

    I finally got my certificate 10 weeks later, and in the meantime the value of the shares has gone down over 2000. Their response to my complaint says that they stuck to their time-frames, and also that this scheme is "exempt from regulation" (section 71 of Regulated Activities Order) and is not eligible for referral to the Financial Ombudsman.

    I've double checked the scheme documents and website, and nowhere are these timescales and fees set out.
    So am I stuck with nowhere to take this?
    Or is there some regulation in place which protects me from this?

    Thanks!
    DD.
Page 1
    • MEM62
    • By MEM62 16th Apr 18, 11:36 AM
    • 1,722 Posts
    • 1,329 Thanks
    MEM62
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 11:36 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 18, 11:36 AM
    Is there any condition in the scheme that states that the value you get is based/fixed on the value on the day you instruct the sale? I very much doubt it.

    If the market value had swung the other way you would have benefitted. Such is the nature of shareholdings.

    The T's & C's of the scheme are all you have to refer to. As long that they have been adhered to I cannot see that you have cause for complaint.
    • dafad_dew
    • By dafad_dew 16th Apr 18, 12:54 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    dafad_dew
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:54 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:54 PM
    Thanks MEM62... My main issue is with the lack of clarity - neither the timescales nor costs are set out anywhere (I've checked all the documentation and the website).

    What I lost was the ability to sell them for 10 weeks - I couldn't do anything with them whilst waiting for the certificate to arrive.

    From what I can see, I've got nowhere to go to complain about the lack of information about these timescales.

    DD.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 16th Apr 18, 12:58 PM
    • 94,547 Posts
    • 62,513 Thanks
    dunstonh
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:58 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 18, 12:58 PM
    and also that this scheme is "exempt from regulation"
    They are correct. Its not a retail product and therefore does not get retail consumer protections. However, even in the retail side of things, there can be transactions that take weeks or months and movement in price is just one of the risks that can happen.

    Or is there some regulation in place which protects me from this?
    Its not a regulated investment.

    Share transfers can take weeks, even months sometimes.

    The fees would be their current published tariff. Rather than an old document issued in the past. You could ask them for their current tariff to see if the fee matches what you have paid.

    Your only option is the courts if you feel they have done something wrong and not in the terms of the contract. Although if there has been a breach as you see if, you could contact the employer or your union and see if they want to take it up on your behalf.
    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.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 16th Apr 18, 3:30 PM
    • 4,658 Posts
    • 7,444 Thanks
    Malthusian
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:30 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 18, 3:30 PM
    Allow a week for 2nd class mail and as far as I can see they were at most one week late compared to their promised timescale, which is eight weeks. How much did the shares go down in that week? Because that's your actual loss, not the 2,000 they went down in the ten weeks.

    Unless you were explicitly told that they'd do the transfer for free I don't think there is much to complain about in regard to the fees. If you'd instructed them to transfer the shares, and they'd instead issued you with an up to date fee schedule and said "please confirm you are happy to proceed on this basis", your transfer would have taken even longer, and the shares might have gone down even more. I imagine the fee wasn't huge and it was reasonable for them to assume you'd checked the fees before giving your instruction.

    (Apropos of nothing, the second most surefire indicator of crap service, next to a sign on the wall saying "We do not tolerate abuse of our staff", is issuing timescales in the format "6-8 weeks" or "5-7 working days", instead of "8 weeks" or "7 working days". If it's a quiet period and a staff member gets the job done in one day, are they going to wait four days to send it out to ensure they remain within the promised timeframe? Are you going to complain if it gets done too early? Quite clearly not. What "5-7 working days" means is that you're supposed to think it'll be done within a week, but they'll actually take a week and a half.)
    Last edited by Malthusian; 16-04-2018 at 3:34 PM.
    • GazHol
    • By GazHol 17th Apr 18, 8:42 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    GazHol
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 18, 8:42 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Apr 18, 8:42 PM
    I complained (after a bit of a runaround via HR and our ShareSave provider) to our Corporate Secetaries dept as it took more than 4 weeks for my share certificate to arrive. The next year (2017) the certificate arrived within 10 days and earlier this year I was notified that we can now transfer electronically. This is just in time, as the last ever of the ShareSave plans matures Oct this year...

    I "lost" the HR tax due on a few hundred shares as I couldn't get them into my ISA before the div registration date.

    I've now started the same process with our Corporate Secetaries dept with our ShareBuy scheme, which of course is with a different provider. This will probably take 1-2 years, despite the provider being a well known registrar who allows electronic transfers for other companies shares.

    If you have patience and are still going to be in the share scheme for many, many years, then ask your Corporate Secetaries dept to get it changed.
    • Chino
    • By Chino 17th Apr 18, 9:47 PM
    • 512 Posts
    • 263 Thanks
    Chino
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 18, 9:47 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Apr 18, 9:47 PM
    and it was reasonable for them to assume you'd checked the fees before giving your instruction.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    I've double checked the scheme documents and website, and nowhere are these timescales and fees set out.
    Originally posted by dafad_dew
    So if they made such an assumption it was an unreasonable assumption.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 18th Apr 18, 3:00 PM
    • 4,658 Posts
    • 7,444 Thanks
    Malthusian
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 18, 3:00 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 18, 3:00 PM
    The scheme document is likely to focus on what a good idea it is for employees to join the sharesave scheme, and unlikely to contain a full schedule of ancillary fees. There is also no obligation to post a fee schedule on the website. If there is no fee schedule on the scheme document or on the website, this does not mean you can reasonably assume the share registrar is a charity and will do it for free.

    It is too late now, but the OP needed to ask what the charges were if this was likely to affect his decision.
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