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Stockbroker clients abandon Barclays for rivals

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Stockbroker clients abandon Barclays for rivals
 Investment platforms have reported a significant rise in the number of clients transferring from Barclays Stockbrokers following the disastrous launch of its Smart Investor platform that prompted a wave of complaints.

Many investors were left without access to their accounts after the August bank holiday launch of the Smart Investor platform, with disgruntled clients citing missing membership numbers and passwords, and others receiving error codes on trying to access their accounts.

Those who tried to complain to Barclays directly were faced with a wait of between 40 minutes and two hours to speak to someone on the helpline.

A host of other grumbles about the way the platform is set up has led to many clients walking away from the broker.

This has been good news for rival platforms who have seen a surge in the number of clients transferring from Barclays.

A spokeswoman for Bestinvest said the platform had seen ‘a huge increase in transfers from Barclays’.

‘The number of accounts coming across in 2017 is already 7.5 times higher than seen during the full year 2016,’ she said.

Although AJ Bell could not put a figure on the number of transfers, a spokesman said ‘we have definitely seen a substantial increase in the number of transfer requests’.

Danny Cox of Hargreaves Lansdown confirmed the platform had ‘seen an increase in the number of people moving across’ from Barclays.

There was a similar response from TD Direct, which was recently bought by Interactive Investor. A spokeswoman said: ‘The Interactive Investor group has seen positive new customer recruitment throughout the year and new customer enquiries have continued to be very strong of late.’

Unhappy Barclays customers may have to wait some time before they are able to move away from the Smart Investor platform as transfer times have been exacerbated by the volume of people moving.

One platform told Citywire Money that the transfers were ‘taking time’ due to the large number.

‘It’s not surprising if you have a lot of people trying to move off,’ they said.

Another platform said Barclays was 'clearly struggling with the volume [of people transferring away] because it is taking a long time to hear back from them on those transfers’.

One platform source, who wished to remain anonymous, said that some customers had been migrated onto the new service but had not received log-in details, which meant they were ‘stuck in a limbo where they cannot trade on the old system but they cannot transfer until they [can access] their new account’.

Barclays had not responded at the time of publication.

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