CompaniesMay 17 2013

FundsNetwork compensates adviser after spate of errors

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Fidelity’s platform business FundsNetwork has paid out an undisclosed amount of compensation to an adviser who complained that he had suffered financially due to a spate of errors created by the firm’s content management system relating to client’s investments.

Chris Miller, proprietor of Bath-based Christopher Miller Financial Planning, said he has been paid a “satisfactory” amount of compensation from FundsNetwork, after wasting at least five hours in correcting the system’s output errors.

He said that IFAs now have to input all elements of transactions into the CMS. He explained that while the input data from his practice is accurate and full, he has found that the confirmation paperwork being issued by the platform is often “riddled with errors”.

At least two thirds of transactions that he has correctly inputted into the CMS have resulted in paperwork that is erroneous and in need of correction, Mr Miller said.

Output errors include incorrect fund choice for redirectors of regular Isa contributions, multiple errors on fund charges, and repeat production of paperwork that is irrelevant to the transaction.

In one example, that Mr Miller said FundsNetwork wrote to a client informing her that her account had been converted to fees and that she now had a zero balance in her portfolio, despite her having a holding of around £16,000.

Mr Miller said: “Imagine opening that letter with your morning corn flakes. You couldn’t make it up.

“I had a case of being unable to input any form of action on a regular Isa because the CMS stated the client, with 13 years’ regular Isa debits, has no regular Isa in place.

“The result is confused clients, additional phone calls from me to clients explaining the errors by Fidelity, so many calls to Fidelity’s helpdesk attempting to rectify their errors and, in total, about five hours of wasted time.”

Mr Miller said that it was unlikely the errors were isolated to his clients and that other advisers would therefore be experiencing similar issues.

A spokesperson for FundsNetwork said: “When we make a mistake, our priority is to always work with advisers to resolve the issue.

“We continue to offer a range of methods to submit business with us. We’ve moved to online only for paper documentation following adviser feedback surrounding the volume of paper they receive, however, this is not a mandatory move for all transactional business.

“We are sorry that Mr Miller has experienced issues using our other online services and we are working with him to rectify these problems.