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AXA Retirement Wealth Account (PO-2447)

Complainant: Mr Graham Burton
Complaint Topic: Transfers: general
Ref: PO-2447
Outcome: Upheld
Respondent: 1. AXA Wealth
2. St James' Place Wealth Management
Type: Pension complaint or dispute

Complaint summary

  • Mr Burton complains that he has suffered a financial loss because:
  • St James’ Place did not pay the transfer value available from his drawdown pension plan with them into the Plan on a timely basis; and
  • AXA did not invest the transfer value as soon as possible.
  • He contends that it was unreasonable for:
  • St James’ Place to take eight working days to send the transfer payment once they informed AXA that they would be using the Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS) method to do so; and
  • AXA to postpone investing the transfer funds until St James’ Place had supplied them with his P45 in order to apply the correct tax code to his income payments from the outset.

Summary of the Ombudsman’s Determination and reasons

The complaint should be upheld against both AXA and St James’ Place.

In my judgement, the failure of St James’ Place to ascertain on a timely basis that their transfer cheque had been mislaid during transit through the bank clearing system after AXA notified them that it had bounced contributed to delay in the completion of the transfer process. I consider this failure to be maladministration on the part of St James’ Place.

I also consider that AXA failed to adequately explain to Mr Burton (via his IFA) at the start of the transfer process their new policy of having to obtain his P45 before investing the transfer value in the Plan and paying any drawdown income. In light of this, it is my view that AXA should have given Mr Burton the opportunity to decide whether or not he wanted the transfer value invested immediately on receipt.

The maladministration identified above on the part of AXA and St James’ Place has caused Mr Burton financial loss for which he should be compensated.

View determination


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