In my day job, I have to deal with many financial services providers.

M & S, HSBC, and Churchill all provide first-class Legal Expenses Insurance products. Many insurers live down to their reputation of being very quick to take the insurance premium and very slow and obstructive in providing the indemnity. Those named are the exception.

Financial Services Providers who look after others’ money are slowly cleaning up their act.  Their act being pushy salespeople, excessive fees, non-existent administration, and poor performance.

My heuristic for choosing a provider is:

” Size isn’t everything. The bigger the provider, the worse the service, the more extravagant the fees. Small equals nimble, better performance, reasonable fees, and enhanced customer focus.”

St James Place [SJP] takes first prize for poor service and excessive fees. SJP’s fees are unconscionable. Whilst the executive board no doubt justify their remuneration based on the free market economy, SJP keeps their customers in the equivalent of a highly regulated overpriced prison and charge their customers royally for the privilege of being locked up and locked in.

How can St James’ Place justify exit fees on their products? A customer of SJP has to pay up to 6% of the sums invested if they change providers and withdraw their money.  Why must SJP’s customers pay a ransom to get their money back?

Dame Helena Morrissey, SJP’s NED, can’t explain their fees.

Anyway if you want to have your say on the robber baron concept of exit fees, FCA is running a consultation here.