A number of Hargreaves Lansdown customers received their pension drawdown payments at least four days late following an “issue” identified by the investment platform last week.
One customer, aged 74, told FTAdviser he was supposed to receive his £2,000 pension payment before the bank holiday, on August 26.
Instead, he was paid yesterday (August 30), four days later.
“I had to rush around moving/borrowing money to cover my bills. I’m 74, but luckily able to use a banking app to avoid disaster,” the customer said.
He tried to contact Hargreaves on Saturday when he noticed the payment still had not been made late on Friday. But the company’s telephone lines, which are usually open 9:30am-12:30pm on a Saturday, were closed.
“They compounded things by closing their weekend telephone service over the long bank holiday,” he said. "It's very unusual for a major pension provider to have payment problem[s]."
Yesterday, the customer filed a formal complaint. Initially, he was told the payment would be in “by Friday” (September 2) by a member of support staff. Later, however, another Hargreaves employee said the payment would arrive within the day, and an hour later it did.
The customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, is now pursuing Hargreaves for compensation over the four-day late payment.
He also said Hargreaves’ support team had appointed someone to “prioritise people”, indicating there were enough people affected for certain types of customers to be paid before others.
A Hargreaves spokesperson confirmed to FTAdviser that multiple customers suffered late payments due to an “issue” it spotted before the bank holiday began.
“We identified an issue on Friday (August 26) which has now been resolved. We expect all outstanding payments to be made today (August 30) and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused,” Hargreaves said.
FTAdviser has asked Hargreaves how many customers were affected, but the company has not responded to this question.
Last week (August 24), FTAdviser’s sister publication Investors Chronicle reported on a “special offer” Hargreaves presented to one of its customers who had told the platform he was switching to rival Interactive Investor due to high account fees.
The deal, which Hargreaves asked the customer to keep a secret, agreed to slash the amount he was paying. The company did not say how often it has done a deal like this.