View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a754408
Hargreaves slammed over shareholder voting fees
by Elsa Buchanan on Jun 03, 2014 at 11:02
He insisted only a 'small proportion' of Hargreaves' clients currently excercise their rights. 'Out of 600,000 clients, only 16,000 actually excercised their voting rights last year. That was before we introduced the £10 charge.
'However, it was notable that even before the fixed charging, when it was effectively free, that only 16,000 clients voted. While we applaud and support investors excercising their voting right, it is apparently something for which their is not a high demand.'
He added Hargreaves was unable to 'judge what impact the charges will have'.
Howarth said no other listed broker firm currently charges its customers to attend AGMs or vote and warned that small shareholders could face hefty bills at the end of the year.
‘If you have a portfolio of 20 or 30 stocks, a £12 fee would be a very expensive proposition at the end of the year. We are talking about £400 or £500 bills for those shareholders wanting to go to a certain number of Hargreaves Lansdown meetings. It is a very bad move.'
She added: ‘We don’t know of anybody else who charges its customers to attend AGMs or vote their shares. In fact, we know that the Share Center and Brewin Dolphin are two stockbroking platforms that are actually really helpful and and go out of their way to make it easy for customers to do this, and certainly don’t charge them.’
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