Customer claims account transfer delays cause £30,000 loss

Investments ISAs

Christopher complained that the business delayed transferring his share dealing and ISA accounts to a new broker. We agreed there’d been a delay, which had caused distress and inconvenience, but not that there was loss of opportunity.

What happened

Christopher’s share dealing company wrote to him to tell him his accounts would be transferred to its new share dealing platform. It said customers could transfer to another provider instead if they preferred but share transfers might take up to 12 weeks if there was high demand.

Christopher decided to transfer to another provider. But the accounts were transferred to the  new platform anyway. There was a delay of over five months.

Christopher complained. He said that he’d had a plan to sell some shares and buy some others later in the year, around the dividend date. This was over 12 weeks away, so he’d expected the transfer to be complete before then. Because it wasn’t and the share prices had moved, he said he’d lost out on over £30,000.

The business apologised for the delay and offered Christopher £150 for the inconvenience.

How we helped

We looked at the facts. We asked Christopher for any evidence to support what he said were his plans for the shares, but there wasn’t any.

We agreed that the transfer had taken too long. But we thought the bank wasn’t responsible for Christopher’s loss as he hadn’t told the bank about his plans. Although he couldn’t deal online while the transfer was under way, if he’d phoned up, he could have dealt by phone. So we didn’t think it was fair to hold the business responsible for Christopher’s loss.However we did think that the business should pay Christopher more for the inconvenience (it increased its offer to £300, which we thought was fair).

Putting things right

We partially upheld Christopher’s complaint and asked the bank to pay Christopher £300 for the distress and inconvenience it caused him.