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Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

londoninvestor
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Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138612

Postby londoninvestor » May 12th, 2018, 8:11 pm

Over the last few years I've built up a decent-sized portfolio of OEICs with HL (spread across a SIPP, an ISA and unwrapped holdings).

HL's service has been good. I have no quibble other than cost - but that's becoming a dealbreaker, and I can no longer ignore how much I'd save in platform fees by switching to a broker with a flat platform fee. So I'm looking to set a switch in motion soon.

My shortlist for a new broker is (in alphabetical order):
1) Interactive Investor
2) iWeb
3) Lloyds (but they don't offer SIPPs, so that part of the portfolio would need to go somewhere else)
4) The Share Centre

I would be really grateful to tap anyone's experience, if you've done a similar move. Some thoughts that came to mind:

Moving away from HL
a) How long did the process take, from starting the request, to having all your funds moved across to the new broker and tradable?
b) After the transfer, can you still get to the records you need from HL? Particularly, did HL give you a tax certificate for the year during which you transferred?
c) Is there anything else you wish you'd known at the start?

Choosing a new broker
Interactive Investor seemed attractive on pricing at first, but a lot of the feedback here about the website and documentation has concerned me. iWeb would probably work out slightly cheaper for me and seems easier to deal with from what I read here.

a) I haven't seen so much about how Lloyds or Share Centre are to deal with... any thoughts?
b) Has anyone found the transfer process into any of these brokers particularly easy or difficult?
c) Did you need to transfer any "off-menu" funds which the brokers don't show on their fund listing - and were you able to do so?

Thanks very much in advance!

Dod101
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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138620

Postby Dod101 » May 12th, 2018, 8:30 pm

Another flat fee broker is Alliance Trust Savings. I have my main ISA and SIPP with them and also use Interactive Investor. Both are fine by me although ATS systems are a bit cranky. The staff in both are very helpful.

No idea about HL because I have never used them.

Dod

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138637

Postby paulnumbers » May 12th, 2018, 9:26 pm

Given that HL charge £25 per holding to transfer out, you might want to consider selling everything and transferring as cash or a single bland fund that you're happy to hold.

I guess that depends if you're happy to be in one fund for a time, and whether your OEICs are dual or single priced.

I can recommend Halifax (which I think is basically the same backend as iweb and lloyds). I've never had any issues.

Interactive Investor had terrible customer service for TD accounts when they were moved over.

Transfers tend to take 1 to 2 months from my experience.

Halfiax/Iweb are certainly not as flashy and polished as HL, if that is important to you.

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138659

Postby DrBunsenHoneydew » May 12th, 2018, 10:04 pm

You can't withdraw from HL so as to leave less than £50 in cash behind unless you pay £25 to close the account completely. Shysters.

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138688

Postby dspp » May 13th, 2018, 12:21 am

I am with II and on balance I am happy with the service and the cost. I look after three sets of portfolios there, each with different needs. All were originated inside II so I cannot speak to the transfer service questions. The II - TD integration has gone OK-ish so far, i.e, acceptable and no melt downs with possibility of upside. The staff are helpful, knowledgeable, and diligent.
regards,
dspp

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138711

Postby Aminatidi » May 13th, 2018, 8:48 am

I'm with II as overall they look like the cheapest option out there if you include the trading credits.

I just looked at The Share Centre as they looked very reasonable at first glance until I noticed they charge 1% dealing fee on anything over £750 unless you look at their more expensive dealing option and even then you pay for every single trade so I think they work out quite expensive in my situation.

IWEB are getting a lot of flack, and rightly so, IMO over the lack of investments they offer and the reasons given i.e. you can't buy any of the Lindsell Train OEIC funds there - at all - go figure!

I can't comment on how easy or how much it is to transfer in as I haven't done so with my other ISA yet.

I presume you've used the online calculators as the mix of OEIC/IT's and which/how often you deal can make a massive overall difference, sorry, know that sounds obvious but until I saw it in black and white it didn't quite hit home what a difference fees can make :x

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138746

Postby londoninvestor » May 13th, 2018, 11:07 am

Thanks all. Great to get a thorough response to a newbie's first post on a Saturday evening :)

  • I've added Alliance Trust and Halifax to my list
  • I'm rethinking the impression I've formed of II - obviously people with negative experiences have been the louder voices, and if the issues are related to the TD merger then that shouldn't impact a new account.
  • paulnumbers, I could indeed do a bit around the edges to consolidate my funds and reduce the number of lumps of £25 I pay. But unrealised gains in the taxable account will stop me going all the way without taking a CGT hit.
  • DrBunsenHoneydew, do you know if one can do a partial transfer and leave some holdings behind in HL? If I could switch a passive holding into an ETF and leave it in HL, I'd consider that for the sake of being able to have an open account, see my history and so on.
  • Aminatidi, yes, The Share Centre is crazy without the frequent dealer option - so I've factored in the £96 for that. It's not the cheapest (ditto Alliance Trust and Halifax), but not prohibitive if the offering really was better.
  • and Aminatidi, I've skipped the online tools but have my own spreadsheet :) which has been interesting in making me think how I'll trade, as I'm about to switch from accumulation to decumulation.

On pure cost, based on how much I expect to trade, my cheapest option would be Lloyds for the unwrapped and the ISA, and iWeb for the SIPP.

If I just go by information on the website, not a single broker can deal with every one of my current funds. So next step is to contact them all about what they could do with the funds they don't advertise. Aminatidi, if you're right about iWeb, that might not get me very far. Let's see!

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138780

Postby Dod101 » May 13th, 2018, 12:56 pm

My experience of II is good. I was with TD Investing and the move was seamless. That is history now but I find them very good. A positive for ATS is that they are wholly owned by Alliance Trust and so long as that continues it seems to me to give an element of stability.

ATS will cater for a SIPP and an ISA as well as a non sheltered account. As for funds/shares, I really do not know as most of my holdings with them are UK shares (including ITs)

Dod

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138797

Postby hiriskpaul » May 13th, 2018, 1:49 pm

I can see Linsell Train UK and Global equity funds on offer at iWeb, so not sure what funds Aminatidi is referring to. I had an account with ATS for several years, but would not go back there. It was not so much the cock-ups that annoyed me as all brokers I have been with have made mistakes, but the amount of time it took ATS to rectify their mistakes. They also considerably increased their charges without any noticeable improvement in service.

iWeb/Halifax are excellent value and fine provided you don't want to go too far off the beaten track, but do have some annoyances such as being late in paying every single BOI coupon and randomly de-listing securities that I hold with them (BBYB and 42TE) so that I am unable to buy any more. If you just want to hold OEICs and they offer the ones you want, then I think they would be a good choice. Not sure I would want to hold a SIPP with iWeb/Halifax though due to the extra complexity. I would pick either Youinvest or HL for SIPPs. If you are doing a lot of regular investing, Halifax might work out cheaper for you as iWeb do not offer any discount for this. Every trade (buy, sell, OEIC, IT, ETF, bond, share) costs £5 with iWeb, with no extra charge for dealing on the phone. Halifax offer regular investment for £2, but are otherwise more expensive than iWeb.

HL provide an excellent service, but as you have found can get expensive if you hold OEICs, even though they don't charge for buying and selling. Have you considered holding ITs or ETFs instead of your OEICs? That is what I do as the charges on ITs/ETFs are capped at a much lower level than for OEICs.

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138801

Postby hiriskpaul » May 13th, 2018, 1:55 pm

p.s. it took months to move my ISA and dealing account from ATS to iWeb, with each side blaming the other for delays. The delays might possibly be due to the fact that ATS offered a free transfer out for a period after they bumped their charges up and I suspect they may have had a lot of customers take up the offer.

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138802

Postby Aminatidi » May 13th, 2018, 1:56 pm

hiriskpaul wrote:I can see Linsell Train UK and Global equity funds on offer at iWeb, so not sure what funds Aminatidi is referring to.


I'm referring to the OEIC funds.

You can buy the IT's but Lindsell Train simply don't appear on the Funds list if you want their OEICs like LT Global Equity or LT UK.

Where are you going to see those please?

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138808

Postby hiriskpaul » May 13th, 2018, 2:14 pm

Aminatidi wrote:
hiriskpaul wrote:I can see Linsell Train UK and Global equity funds on offer at iWeb, so not sure what funds Aminatidi is referring to.


I'm referring to the OEIC funds.

You can buy the IT's but Lindsell Train simply don't appear on the Funds list if you want their OEICs like LT Global Equity or LT UK.

Where are you going to see those please?

I just re-checked and you are quite right. Although iWeb have the funds listed, when selected for investment both funds flash up the statement "Following changes to FCA regulations, new investment in this share class is unavailable. Please check if there is an alternative share class in this fund.". This sort of thing does seem to be a very annoying feature of the iWeb/Halifax platform. As I mentioned previously I hold 2 securities at iWeb that for some reason are no longer available for new investments. It could be that iWeb/Halifax have incorrectly labelled the LT funds and may rectify it when questioned, but in my experience getting them to sort out something like this is worse than banging your head against a brick wall.

If anyone wants to buy the LT or other funds at iWeb/Halifax it may be worthwhile contacting the fund group directly. I did this with some Vanguard funds and ETFs I wanted and iWeb eventually listed them, even though the response from iWeb was "Computer says no".

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138813

Postby DrBunsenHoneydew » May 13th, 2018, 2:37 pm

londoninvestor wrote:
  • DrBunsenHoneydew, do you know if one can do a partial transfer and leave some holdings behind in HL? If I could switch a passive holding into an ETF and leave it in HL, I'd consider that for the sake of being able to have an open account, see my history and so on.

Yes, there's no problem with doing that. It's just the 'last £50' of account value you can't access without paying a £25 fee.

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138817

Postby Alaric » May 13th, 2018, 3:03 pm

Dod101 wrote: I was with TD Investing and the move was seamless.


Nothing really changed for ex-TD holders except branding and the charging structure. Many of the reported problems came from ex-II holders who struggled to find things on a platform new to them.

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#138895

Postby londoninvestor » May 13th, 2018, 8:55 pm

hiriskpaul wrote:Have you considered holding ITs or ETFs instead of your OEICs? That is what I do as the charges on ITs/ETFs are capped at a much lower level than for OEICs.


I did think about that, and I may well do it for a little bit of the portfolio in order to keep an open HL account. For most of what I hold though, either the corresponding ETF has higher charges, or there isn't a close ETF equivalent.

Thanks for all your detailed feedback hiriskpaul.

A couple of other questions as I think about this more:
  1. Has anyone done a partial transfer into these brokers (i.e. left something behind in the old account) - were there any complexities?
  2. Do any of these brokers allow you do prefunded switches? i.e. can I place an order to sell £10k of fund A, and buy £10k of fund B, pricing on the same date, without having £10k of cash on hand?

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#139198

Postby RaspberryFool » May 15th, 2018, 2:15 pm

I have, over the last year, transferred two ISAs from HL to Halifax and iWeb. On one occasion the process took weeks, on the other over a month.
I was happy with the HL service but the lower fees were key as I now need to maximise the income. I sold all the stocks and transferred as cash to minimise charges, albeit I would be out of the market over that time. It was a risk I was willing to take. The £50 closure fees were a bit of a sting.

I'm surprised at the comment "my cheapest option would be Lloyds for the unwrapped and the ISA, and iWeb for the SIPP." I was under the impression that if one paid the £25 to open an account with iWeb, there would be no further fees to pay. So it would seem to make sense to keep the other accounts with them?

The iWeb/Halifax platform is not as slick as HL's - but it depends upon how much you will need to use it.

I also have accounts with II. In the past I have transferred ISAs to them - but found the process did not go smoothly and took an inordinate amount of time (~months). Their recent change to the way charges are calculated has also increased the costs for us. The £20 quarterly fees can be offset against trading charges - but only if one is likely to be doing a couple of trades per quarter - which is no longer applicable to us.

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#139204

Postby londoninvestor » May 15th, 2018, 2:57 pm

RaspberryFool wrote:I'm surprised at the comment "my cheapest option would be Lloyds for the unwrapped and the ISA, and iWeb for the SIPP." I was under the impression that if one paid the £25 to open an account with iWeb, there would be no further fees to pay. So it would seem to make sense to keep the other accounts with them?


The £25 at iWeb is for the ISA and unwrapped jointly. The SIPP doesn't have an opening charge per se, though it is £60 per pension to transfer in. So open a SIPP and you still have the £25 to pay if you want another account - not that £25 is too material.

The advantage of Lloyds is that you pay only £1.50 per fund transaction. So you save £3.50 per transaction compared to iWeb. If you're all in funds, and you do 12 trades a year, Lloyds comes out cheaper cheaper.


RaspberryFool wrote:The iWeb/Halifax platform is not as slick as HL's - but it depends upon how much you will need to use it.


Thanks - I'm sure I can live with it if it's functional.

RaspberryFool wrote:I also have accounts with II. In the past I have transferred ISAs to them - but found the process did not go smoothly and took an inordinate amount of time (~months).


That's not so encouraging... did they give any reason why it took so long?

Also, in your experience, do any/all/none of these platforms let you do fund switches without having the cash on hand? (e.g. if I want to sell £10k of fund A and buy £10k of fund B, both pricing tomorrow, do I need to have £10k in cash?)

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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#139515

Postby RaspberryFool » May 17th, 2018, 9:39 am

HL certainly allow you do to fund switches. The process is very straightforward and there are no transaction charges. I am fairly sure that I have also done it with II in the past - but their platform has changed with the TDW takeover.

londoninvestor
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Re: Transferring fund holdings from HL to a flat-fee broker

#139534

Postby londoninvestor » May 17th, 2018, 10:53 am

RaspberryFool wrote:HL certainly allow you do to fund switches. The process is very straightforward and there are no transaction charges. I am fairly sure that I have also done it with II in the past - but their platform has changed with the TDW takeover.


Thanks RaspberryFool, yes, it's very smooth on HL and one of my favourite features. I'd pay a little bit more for a broker who did it, compared to one who didn't. Just not as much as I'm currently paying HL!


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