The RDR has certainly raised the bar in terms of professionalism within the IFA community, but from where I sit it seems some providers are simply not making the grade.
We had an experience with one provider recently when a series of mistakes occurred with a client’s portfolio – investments were placed in the wrong fund, income was paid annually instead of monthly, assets were sold in error and the adviser charge was deducted twice – all for one client, within the space of a couple of months.
It took considerable time and much chasing on our part to identify the problems, get accurate information and put things right.
We fought hard to get compensation for the client, in spite of the provider’s admission that the fault lay with them – and to receive some compensation for the hours we spent investigating. If we had been less determined, our client would certainly have suffered.
What we found was that the provider’s team was inadequately trained and, sadly, exhibited a defensive stance rather than displaying a desire for good customer service.
This is totally unacceptable in an industry that claims to have cleaned up its act. It is time for the provider giants to step up to the mark and for the regulator to focus its attention on the failings on that side of the fence.
Carl Lamb is managing director at Almary Green