FundsNetwork to compensate client and IFA after delays

FundsNetwork to compensate client and IFA after delays
 Photo: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

FundsNetwork has agreed to compensate a couple and their IFA for a series of delays that meant the clients' money was left out of the market for nearly two months. 

Adviser Tim Morris, of Russell & Co, said two of his clients Mr and Mrs H, wanted to transfer a total of nearly £100,000 between them from FundsNetwork to Canada Life. 

He put the forms through and, on October 8, 2020, the clients received confirmation the withdrawal forms had been received. Morris said on hearing that, he contacted FundsNetwork to confirm what "needed to happen to arrange the withdrawal of money" and to get an idea of when the transfer would take place.

He had been assured everything would go through - but by November it was still not transferred and the money had not been invested into the markets, causing the clients to miss out on several weeks' worth of growth. 

Morris said when he spoke with Canada Life, the provider was still waiting for the money to be sent from FundsNetwork.

Morris spoke with the account managers at both companies and said he could not get confirmation from FundsNetwork as to when the money would be paid. 

He wrote again to FundsNetwork in the middle of November, stating: "If I had been aware that the money would not be paid to the clients until 19/11/2020 I would have left it invested. This would have seen them benefit from substantial additional growth in that time."

But by December, he still had not had a suitable response from FundsNetwork; he states that £50 compensation was offered - but that FundsNetwork had offered to pay this to Canada Life, not to the clients for their inconvenience.

A letter sent to Morris, seen by FTAdviser, said: "We'd like to arrange a £50 payment to Canada Life International. This is for a 10-day delay in processing their request."

In December, Morris wrote again to FundsNetwork, escalating this as a complaint and stating it was "clear they had not listened" if they were offering the compensation to Canada Life International.

Morris added: "Over the 2 month period dealing with this, I spent several hours on calls and chasing this by email.
I noted this as 4.5 hours. At my hourly rate of £175, this means it cost me £787.50 of my time."

He also branded the £50 "derisory" for the way in which his clients had been treated over the two months he had spent chasing FundsNetwork. 

FTAdviser contacted Fidelity FundsNetwork to ask about the way in which the clients' case was handled, and the errors made when Morris attempted to get a resolution from the company.

A spokesperson for FundsNetwork said: "We are deeply sorry for the errors incurred during the handling of Mr Morris’ requests, and regret the inconvenience caused to both him and his clients."