Rowanmoor’s approach to customer service is reflected in good news stories from around the business.
These examples are testimony to both the quality of our administration and our staff’s commitment to clients. Some of them describe circumstances where our staff have delivered service well above our published service standards.
Just carrying out a customer’s instructions may not always be the best thing to do. In these cases, our proactive approach led to our clients being better off.
In one instance, a customer wanted to draw a pension commencement lump sum. They had assumed this would be 25% of their fund. Following a review of the customer’s salary and service, with assistance from their independent financial adviser, we established that the customer qualified for scheme specific lump sum protection and was able to take a significantly larger lump sum than expected; almost 80% more.
In another case, an instruction to redeem an investment was queried by the administrator as the investment was only a week away from a penalty-free anniversary. When informed of the fact, the customer amended his instruction and was significantly better off.
Customers benefit from our proactive approach.
It came to our attention that a substantial number of cash holdings were being retained by schemes as a result of property investments not proceeding, or as a result of property disposal.
As a result, an exercise was undertaken to identify such schemes and to remind both customers and their advisers that they may wish to review their investment strategy. With cash returns at a historical low, this initiative was appreciated by customers.
When time is of the essence we will pull out all the stops.
A customer called our Sales Support Team wanting to set up a SIPP immediately to transfer from their existing provider, who could not accommodate property purchase. The customer had been provided with a guaranteed transfer value, which expired in five days time. If this deadline were to be missed, and a re-valuation required, it would cost the client £3,000 for the revaluation, let alone any possible reduction in the transfer value. With the time constraint, which included a bank holiday, and the fact that a statutory 14 day cooling-off period would apply, there appeared to be little chance of this being achieved.
However, the ceding provider was contacted to explore whether the initiation of the process of transfer would secure the guaranteed value. It was suggested faxed and scanned copies of documentation could be used to demonstrate the customer’s intent. The existing provider was happy to accept a fax to show that the client intended to transfer. Original documentation followed. The process was completed to the satisfaction of all.
Our experience makes all the difference in more complex matters.
The Trustees of a SSAS completed an extension on a property owned and leased by the pension scheme. They were under the impression that the existing lease would need to be surrendered and a new lease granted, at a higher level of rent. Though not legal advisers, our experience told us that it may be possible to make an amendment to the rent as part of an on-going rent review. We contacted the Trustees, who agreed we should speak to their solicitor. Following discussions with the solicitor, it was agreed that a new lease was not required and that the rent could be revised as part of the rent review process that was being undertaken at the same time.
This intervention saved the client some £3,500 in additional fees and the associated stamp duty that would have been applied had a new lease been implemented.
In another instance, after receiving a letter from a client advising that a cheque for VAT had not been paid by their bank as it had not been signed in accordance with the mandate, our checks showed that it had been correctly signed. We contacted the bank and negotiated a same day credit free of charge. We respectfully requested that the bank send a letter of apology to the client, pointing out their error, which the bank did.
We explore all avenues to find a solution.
An urgent payment out to enable a property purchase was not made as a result of an online banking system failure.
The bank was contacted and advised of the issue and a manual solution was sought. The bank quoted a deadline of 5pm and would need Letter of Authority faxed to them by 4pm in order to meet this. Two administrators worked in tandem, one drawing up the authority, the other galvanising the signatories to ensure they were available to authorise the urgent request. The signed authority letter was faxed to the bank at 3.46pm. Then the bank called to say they needed to verify the request. The necessary security call back was made immediately by a manager, and the payment was made, enabling the property purchase to complete.