This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

Delays in SIPP and ISA transfers

Last week I complained to Hargreaves Lansdown about the delay in transferring a SIPP to another broker. The receiving broker has been chasing it but to no effect. It has been “pending” now for almost two months and I cannot understand the reason for such a long delay.

What do I read on Friday but a number of similar complaints from readers of Investors Chronicle. There seems to be a consistent problem here, even where the transfer should be fairly straightforward.

If for example there is a two month delay in the transfer, your holdings are effectively frozen for that period, and if you have significant cash in the account it will lie there uninvested and not generating a return (other than to the broker holding it of course). Just freezing the holdings means you cannot trade them which makes you vulnerable to market or stock specific swings.

Even non SIPP and ISA transfers are affected because you may not want to sell the holdings and reinvest with another broker because you would realise capital gains. What you need is of course and “in specie” transfer.

Both with the changes of charges at Hargreaves Lansdown and other brokers, and the recent customer relations problems at Selftrade, it is quite likely that substantial numbers of clients are looking to change brokers. It should surely be capable of being done in a few days, not months.

Have other investors experienced this problem? If so please contact ShareSoc.

Roger Lawson

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