Problems with a change in technology and an office move pushed Alliance Trust Savings (ATS) to the highest rate of complaints of any firm on decumulation and pensions in the first half of 2017, Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) complaints data has revealed.
ATS received 33.1 complaints per 1,000 policies currently in force, while it also racked up the third highest rate on investments, with 29.1 complaints per 1,000 client accounts, behind only The Co-operative Bank, with 136.8, and Phoenix Life Assurance, with 42.
The ATS total on decumulation and pensions was nearly three times that of the second most complained about firm, Skipton Building Society, which had 10.1 complaints per 1,000 policies.
A spokesman for ATS acknowledged that platform tech and structural changes had negatively impacted the firm.
He said: ‘2017 has been a transformational year for ATS. We restructured the business, which included relocation of key staff members to our Dundee Head Office and continued to invest in our strategic technology solution which will combine market leading platform functionality with our increasingly popular flat fee proposition.
‘Unfortunately, due to these exceptional operational issues, our service standards slipped in 2017. We regret that these changes have adversely affected the service received by some of our customers and apologise for the frustration this has caused.
‘Our number one priority is to ensure our service levels return to the standard our customers expect. We have invested heavily in our customer service teams and in the last three months have increased our headcount by 30%. We are seeing real improvements coming through in both our customer facing contact teams and our operational process teams as we work to address all issues.’
Other notable providers featured in the top 10 on pensions were Old Mutual Wealth Life & Pensions, with 4.4 per 1,000, and AXA Wealth, with 3.8.
On investments, Phoenix Life also chalked up 17.1 complaints per 1,000 accounts.