View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/money/article/a886710
Alliance Trust Savings hikes account charges
Fund supermarket Alliance Trust Savings raises account fees as it seeks to cut losses and repay the cost of new technology.
Fund supermarket Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) is to hike its account fees and charge customers monthly as it seeks to cut losses and repay investment in new technology.
From 1 May the administration fee on its ISA and Investment Dealing Account will rise to £7.50 a month totalling £90 a year. It currently charges £18.75 a quarter, an annual cost of £75.
Charges on new Sipp (self-invested personal pension) ‘Savings’ accounts will rise to £18 a month, including VAT, totalling £216 a year. Customers currently pay an annual bill in advance of £186 including VAT.
For new investors seeking to take an income from their Sipp the charge will rise to £25.50 including VAT, equivalent to £306 a year. That compares to the current annual charge of £276.
Existing Sipp customers will not pay the higher fees until February 2017.
Fees on child ISA and Sipp accounts are not increasing but will move to £3.33 a month, instead of £10 a quarter, giving an annual charge of £40 including VAT.
Charges for customers with financial advisers will rise by a similar amount, the company said.
ATS, which is owned by Alliance Trust (ATST ), the 128-year-old global investment trust, is popular with investment trust investors. It also stands out from rivals like Hargreaves Lansdown in applying flat fees rather than variable charges based on a percentage of the money held in customer accounts.
Managing director Patrick Mill said: ‘Costs are going up and we have invested in technology for the platform which will make it better for customers to deal with us.’
Last year ATS signed a deal to switch to platform technology provider GBST and is due to complete the changeover in May after the busy end of tax-year period.
Technology costs and management changes cost the business £18.9 million last year, according to today’s annual results from Alliance Trust, pushing ATS’s pre-tax losses to £5.2 million from £3.9 million. Customer numbers rose to over 84,000 following the acquisition of Stocktrade from Brewin Dolphin.
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