Fidelity attacked for not allowing in-specie windfall Isa transfers

Advisers and investors have slammed Fidelity for not allowing in-specie transfers out of its windfall Isa account to other managers.

Last week Money Marketing, Fund Strategy’s sister publication, revealed that Fidelity was to close the accounts on October 1 after the number dropped from 200,000 to 34,000.

Investors can switch into any fund on Fidelity FundsNetwork or transfer out in cash to another Isa plan manager but they cannot transfer their shares. People who do not make a decision will have all their shares encashed and invested in the Fidelity Moneybuilder Index fund.

Phil Castle, a director at Financial Escape, says: “It makes a bit of a joke of the regulator’s platform discussion paper and the issue of re-registration when Fidelity are not offering the option of re-reg of shares to a different platform.” (article continues below)

One investor says he would like to keep his shares in Aviva, given rumours of a sale. He says: “I have just called Fidelity and they are completely intransigent—they are not offering any of their clients the option to retain the windfall shares and do not intend to do so.”

A spokeswoman for Fidelity says: “We have tried to give windfall customers a range of appealing options that enable them still to gain exposure from financials. Unfortunately, we were not able to offer in-specie transfer for the windfall Isas as the service is not a full stock-trading facility.”