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Being Reasonable

09.09.2009

We all will have day to day experiences that will test our patience and OK personally some gripes are justified and some just plain and simple lack of tolerance. I noticed it as I have got older and the usual work/life balance became a bit of a juggling act that this lack of time can result in me offering a pretty good impression of a grumpy sod if caught at the right moment.

Mostly I soon calm down and get on with my day but I've found that the experience becomes harder to bear when the culprits are established household brands and (by numbers) leaders in our industry.

A recent conversation with a local IFA reminded me that it is when things get a bit more significant that our reaction to being messed around is more justifiable.  The tale isn't a new one which in itself is sad; the usual story of a relatively routine piece of administration being overly complicated by a poorly ran SIPP administration dept. Then compounded by a lack of personal accountability in the "administration centre" which really poured petrol on the flames.

So you might say that the IFA may be joining my grumpy sod gang and a more forgiving stance should be adopted. We could put this down to a simple error that can happen to any firm and well no harm no foul?

Well no; because when a SIPP provider fails to deliver the right level of service more often than not they are also failing to fulfil the advisers' promises to their client. Factor in that the failure is happening at time when most advisers I know have had a pretty tough 12 months and are looking for good news rather than bad to report back with- in short its last thing they need.

So in fact what could be a shabby piece of admin; and from what we hear there are many examples to cite - 10 working days to co-sign a cheque, 7 working days to turnaround DFM application (returned unsigned), or paying a PCLS cheque which bounced; could result in irreparable damage to the advisers relationship with and hence future earnings form the client. In short they could cost you money.

Unfortunately it seems that with SIPPs poor service just seems to be tolerated; the same names seem to continue to trot out the same dire standards and familiar horror stories. It is way past time to recognise this as unforgivable and more importantly hugely damaging to the IFA.

The only conclusion we can reach is that if the adviser continues to put up with this then their acquiescence is akin to a message to bad providers that this is OK. My message is this is not OK and for badly treated IFA's to be a part of the solution and take their business elsewhere.

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