IFA warns over Barclays muddle with Standard Life accounts
Inform clients to allow plenty of time to complete tax returns, says adviser after rigmarole accessing statements.
An IFA has warned fellow advisers who may have recommended Standard Life cash savings accounts to inform clients of potential delays accessing statements, after he learned the business had been acquired by Barclays and suffered difficulties accessing his own account.
Bill Crowley, independent financial adviser at Castlegate Investments, said that customers with a Standard Life savings account could have difficulty accessing statements from before they were migrated to Barclays in 2010, adding that they are currently not available either online or over the phone.
Mr Crowley, who opened a personal savings account with Standard Life after recommending it to multiple clients, voiced concerns that this would create difficulties for people trying to put together tax returns.
He said that he tried to access his Standard Life account online, which returned only a blank screen.
After learning about the Barclays transfer he found the new location of his account and found that his online statement went no further back than the date of migration, making it impossible for him to get a statement of interest paid and tax deducted for last year.
When he called the bank he was told Barclays could not reveal the information over the phone, but could post it to him. However, when the letter that arrived two weeks later it said simply that the information could not be divulged because the account wasn’t opened until April this year.
A second phone call resulted in a second, identical letter arriving two weeks after the first. According to Mr Crowley it was only after a third phone call that the appropriate information was sent to him in first-class mail.
He added that the bank paid him £20 for the inconvenience caused.
Mr Crowley said: “Beware of clients to whom you have recommended the old Standard Life accounts who have had some hassle thus far and warn them to allow plenty of time if they need to get last year’s details for their tax return.”
A spokesperson for Barclays said: “Following the transaction we made with the Standard Life group in 2010, we made plans to integrate the Standard Life cash savings business into Barclays.
“To ensure a smooth transition for our customers we have been transparent with them, giving them advance written notice of the move and all the information and tools they need prior to the move.
“We apologise if any customers have been inconvenienced and we are working on a case-by-case basis to address their concerns.”