Standard Life to compensate client for three-year ISA error

Standard Life has agreed to compensate a client after it failed to complete an £11,000 ISA transfer and then took three years to return the money to the client.

In 2009, Stephen Maier, Co-operative IFA adviser, instructed Standard Life to transfer £11,409.28 that a client held in a Standard Life ISA to a five-year structured product plan with Woolwich Plan Managers, part of Barclays.

Standard claims it sent a cheque on February 9, 2009 but Woolwich advised Standard on March 11 that it had not received the cheque and that it needed the money by March 13 to proceed. Standard says it could not reproduce the cheque in that time and so closed the case and moved the investment to its client money account.

Woolwich wrote to Co-op IFA on March 18, saying the transfer had been rejected.

Maier says he was not aware that the transfer did not go through because Woolwich wrote to the Co-op IFA central administration centre instead of to him personally.

Following a review of the client money account in January this year, Standard Life reissued the cheque to Woolwich, which had since closed the product and returned the cheque.

Standard Life then sent the cheque to the client.

Maier, who is now a financial planner at Inspire IFA, asked Standard Life why the original investment had been returned without explanation and without any attempt at redress.

This week, Standard offered the client £2,770.74 to cover the lost investment return he would have received from Woolwich at 8% a year and a redress payment of £250.

A Standard spokeswoman says: “Standard Life apologises for the part it played in the errors surrounding this case.”

Maier says: “The redress offer amount is derisory. Standard Life has handled this very poorly.”