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Hargreaves cleans up after botched Barclays launch

Hargreaves reports £1.5 billion of net new business in three months after Barclays' disastrous overhaul of online stockbroking service.

Hargreaves cleans up after botched Barclays launch

Hargreaves Lansdown (HRGV) has reported £1.5 billion of net new business in the three months to the end of September, receiving a boost from the fallout from Barclays' disastrous overhaul of its online stockbroking service.

Hargreaves said assets under administration hit £82 billion in September, up 4% over the quarter.

It said in a statement to the stock market: ‘We also benefited from significant transfer activity relating to operational issues on a competitor platform, showing the benefit of our strong reputation for client service.’

In a trading statement the company also said: ‘We also benefited from significant transfer activity relating to operational issues on a competitor platform, showing the benefit of our strong reputation for client service.’

Towards the end of September a number of investment platforms, including Hargreaves, reported that they were seeing a rise in clients transferring from Barclays after the disastrous launch of its Smart Investor platform, replacing its Barclays Stockbrokers service.

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

Numis analyst James Hamilton said he expected Hargreaves to continue to benefit from Barclays' woes in the next quarter, pointing to the delays in Barclays customers transferring their assets.

'As well as clients not being able to log into their accounts and not receiving their dividends, the exit process appears to be delayed as well,' he said.

'Consequently, we expect a lag between clients choosing to move to Hargreaves Lansdown and the assets under administration arriving,' he said.

'If a client is transferring Hargreaves Lansdown will only recognise them when their balance is over £100. Consequently, if the transfer is delayed, client and assets under administration recognition could be delayed as well and for that reason we expect Hargreaves Lansdown to report strong net flows and customer growth in the second quarter as well.'

Chris Hill, chief executive officer, said: ‘I'm pleased to report a solid start to the new financial year for net new business and revenue. We continue to place clients at the centre of what we do and our relentless focus on the level of service that we provide is enabling both existing and new clients to save and invest with confidence.’

33 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Martin Stewart

Oct 11, 2017 at 10:20

Yet another example of management incompetence in the Banking Industry

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Oct 11, 2017 at 11:42

Not only total management incompetence from Barclays Senior directors but also a cavalier attitude to customers who wanted to stay but who were completely ignored. Still no doubt they will continue with their fat salaries and big "performance-related" bonuses.

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Oct 11, 2017 at 11:59

Not surprised at the numbers leaving Barclays Stockbrokers.

I have not moved yet but am getting still more frustrated, as Dividends paid into my Bank Account now do not show which Company has paid them.

A complete disaster !

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Oct 11, 2017 at 12:31

Do not worry, an American bank will soon be buying Barclays for a song and their troubles will be over.

The directors will of course be rewarded in the customary fashion with assurance their careers will not be interrupted.

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Oct 11, 2017 at 13:48

I'm getting worried about size/scale of HL.

RR, RBS, Marconi, Barings, Polly Peck, Lehman Bros..... too big to fail ??

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Oct 11, 2017 at 17:43

Basic problem is that advances in software and hardwire have completely overlooked the need for proper systems design and testing which were prevalent back in the day.

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Paul Hutchings

Oct 11, 2017 at 18:42

I'm absolutely astonished at how poor this new Smart Investor site is.

I have spent the last 8 years trading via the Barclays Stockbrokers platform which was simplicity personified, an absolute mine of information and a complete joy to use. Real shame.

Whoever oversaw this change should be Hung out to dry !

At least come out and acknowledge this has been a mammoth cock up!

Barclays....if your listening, final chance.....Convert this back to BS Marketmaster and I'll stay put, if not, I'm going to wait until the transfer period time comes down, it will after the exodus of customers moving eases, and move my pot to another platform.

One totally p****d off Investor.

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Oct 11, 2017 at 18:58

They have never listened to customers and are never likely to now. Cuddled up with their fat salaries and other deaf directors why would they.

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Oct 11, 2017 at 21:14

Ditto exactly @ Paul Hutchings

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Eileen Abell

Oct 11, 2017 at 21:54

I'm absolutely astonished at how poor this new Smart Investor site is.

Quoting Paul Hutchings:

"I have spent the last 8 years trading via the Barclays Stockbrokers platform which was simplicity personified, an absolute mine of information and a complete joy to use. Real shame.

Whoever oversaw this change should be Hung out to dry !

At least come out and acknowledge this has been a mammoth cock up!

Barclays....if your listening, final chance.....Convert this back to BS Marketmaster and I'll stay put, if not, I'm going to wait until the transfer period time comes down, it will after the exodus of customers moving eases, and move my pot to another platform.

One totally p****d off Investor."

I am another p****d off investor. I have made my views known via forums and a formal complaint to BS and am waiting for a reply from them, which I am told will be by 27 Oct (complaint lodged around 2nd week in Sept!)

Surely we are due a statement by Barclays Stockbrokers (now ?defunct) as to how they are going to redress all our complaints about their abysmal service to their erstwhile faithful clients? Their silence speaks volumes.

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Paul Hutchings

Oct 12, 2017 at 06:52

In reply to Eileen Abell...

I phoned to complain.....they opened a case, called me back the same day & promptly closed it after saying the glitches were all now rectified.

If you get anywhere Eileen post on here please, I think we should descend on Barclays in numbers..

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Martin Stewart

Oct 12, 2017 at 15:42

I understand Jes Staley is Barclays Chief Executive Officer who once stated "I feel keenly we must continue to strengthen trust in Barclays. The trust of our Customers and Clients, reciprocated in our commitment and service to them, is

the foundation of our success, the most valuable quality we can nurture and key

to unlocking shareholder value"

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Eileen Abell

Oct 12, 2017 at 22:25

In reply to Paul Hutchings

Thanks, I certainly will!

PS: Another gripe - yesterday I apparently sold some BDEV and never got an email or anything. It wasn't until I returned from work and looked at the FTSE that I saw they had gone up beyond my placed limit order. Well, then I went onto the primary school website and had to navigate laboriously to see "history" under "orders" and then it became apparent that this transaction had, in fact, taken place. THIS IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH for serious stock market direct trader clients of Barclays!

Please, someone younger and a bigger investor than me, call the FCA or anyone and COMPLAIN vociferously!

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Martin Stewart

Oct 13, 2017 at 10:18

In reply to Eileen Abell...

Like many Clients of Barclays this has clearly been a very frustrating experience.

I decided to transfer to another platform but even this process has been problematic.

Apart from writing to the CEO you could contact the Financial Ombudsman on

0800 023 4 567 to seek their advice. The Ombudsman is also in a position to

award compensation

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Eileen Abell

Oct 13, 2017 at 20:32

In reply to Martin Stewart -

Thanks for the phone number, I'll try it on Monday. I've already emailed the CEO of Barclays ?Stockbrokers (if indeed he is still there.... perhaps hiding behind a cabinet?)

However, I am not seeking any compensation as I have not, so far, lost any money, yet (!). But I feel justified in seeking redress for the frustration of not being able to trade at a critical time in my personal financial year due to the changeover from BS to "SI" (inconveniently timed over a national Bank Holiday....) and the subsequent difficulties with the dumbed-down useless new site and lack of emailed confirmation of any "Orders", ie Stops, Limits or At Best. (Or even lack of the app.)

The time I have spent/wasted on all this since the end of August is enough to claim some form of compensation, even if not financial! (It could be the satisfaction just of knowing the Ombudsman or the FCA could be ordering a return to the Barclays Stockbrokers site??)

Can someone younger and braver than me please start a Class Action against Barclays for their suicidal move over changing their award-winning BS site to an absolute farce and losing hundreds if not thousands of their (paying) clients? I, amongst others I'm sure, am too small an active investor to afford HL's high fees. I am 72 and feel strongly about this, but cannot believe I have to wait 6 months till the rush has died down to leave SI and go somewhere else. (End of rant.)

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Oct 14, 2017 at 10:50


please share the email address of the B's CEO..... so we can vent our spleen.

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Martin Stewart

Oct 14, 2017 at 11:03


Unless it could be proved that Barclays acted unlawfully any recourse to Law

is not a realistic proposition. The overhaul of the Barclays stockbroking service

is a management issue which because it was ill conceived has led to disastrous consequences for both Barclays and their Clients. Unfortunately there is no law against management incompetence.

You appear to be a loyal and caring customer who is suffering from the consequences of the actions of Barclays and a letter to the CEO is a sensible

first step backed by placing a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman. From my limited experience of this process, I would expect that you should be entitled to an apology from Barclays, preferably from the CEO himself, and that Barclays attend to any outstanding issues that have caused you problems

over the last few weeks. In addition and as a goodwill measure I think you have every right to expect an offer from Barclays of compensation as a goodwill gesture.

Regretfully I do not think Barclays will consider returning to the original stockbroker site and that transferring to an alternative platform may realistically

be your best option

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Eileen Abell

Oct 14, 2017 at 22:32

Reply to DGL

I sent an email to Alastair Thaw and have had a text from Barclays saying I will get a response from their "complaints team" by 27 Oct. My email was sent on 7 Sept. If that is any use to you. (Can't remember his email address, though.)

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little jack

Oct 15, 2017 at 10:20

Having banked zand used Barclays stock brokers for over 50 years I was appalled to learn of the closure od Barclays stock brokers. They knew their job and were competent. To replace. It by a totally untested system and run by people who have no idea how an agency should work appals me.

Have already written to C EO and awaiting for step will be to lodge a formal complaint with the financial ombudsman service and Bank of England

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Oct 15, 2017 at 10:46

Little Jack. I wish you well in your endevours. My fear is that as is so often in these cases the responsible ones are well insulated and protected in their ivory towers. Do let us know of your successes.

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Oct 15, 2017 at 11:23

I too use Barclays Stockbrokers (as well as barclays bank - over 30+ years) and agree with most of the above - I complained about 6-9months back when I was advised that they were removing user access (ability to manage multiple accounts for my family via my login). I was advised they were looking into it and few weeks later they closed the complaint and said it had been noted but their research told them it wasn't necessary. I also spoke several times to the Glasgow call centre - they were pleasant but weren't involved (a big mistake) in what was going to replace the existing system.

I agree with most of the above - Barclays Stockbrokers worked very well with reasonable charges (not the cheapest but acceptable). Not sure if I can be bothered with lodging another complaint but am also considering switching my family to another once the dust has settled. We already use HL but I found the old barclays stockbrokers a lot easier to use (e.g. ability to modify a limit order with barclays rather than having to cancel and replace with a new order with HL) so most new deposits were going into Barclays.

I have recently put a few trades through Barclays (without problems) but have switched more activity to HL whereas the HL accounts were previously not actively traded.

I phoned Barclays yesterday - asked about whether they were going to reintroduce user access (multiple user accounts on one login) - first time was told Barclays were ahead of the game - new MIFID2 legislation comin in Jan was going to force others to follow Barclays - I was pretty sure this was not the case but phoned HL to check - they confirmed that this was not a requirement of MIFID2 and not aware of this change being required and if they were going to make such a change they would notify clients in advance. I called Barclays a 2nd time and was told they were considering various things based on feedback from old users but were not advised about user access and yes this was a bank policy issue (wanting to combine bank accounts with broking accounts... although don't see why that would preclude user access) rather than a MIFID2 issue.

Now considering when to switch out of Barclays and who to switch to (need ISAs, SIPPs and regular broking accounts ideally with ability to trade overseas shares):

- called Close Brothers - they never called me back

- called Charles Stanley - said they could do the user access but I'd need to provide power of attorney forms - which they couldn't provide

- called Saxo Bank - they were helpful and set me up with a demo account immediately - which seemed fine on first impression - very low charges - said they could probably do user access but would double check and haven't contacted me back.

- HL of course - already setup - I really don't like the inability to modify orders easily but its not a showstopper for me and

I'm tempted to try Saxo - any feedback would be welcome!

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Oct 15, 2017 at 13:43

Valueman6 - look at iWeb. They utilise Cofunds as their platform and don't charge an annual fee for holding ISA's with them, unlike HL who charge 0.45% (minus a small loyalty bonus).

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Oct 15, 2017 at 21:55

Have used the new Barclays "Smart investor" system after taking weeks to get the password sorted out. Verdict - it's complete garbage looks like something put together as a school project...I used to think it was only Governments who botched IT projects

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Oct 16, 2017 at 00:13

thanks citymoke - will certainly take a look

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Oct 16, 2017 at 01:03

Valueman6 - a few months ago I moved some of my ISA investments from HL to iWeb just to save myself from some of that HL monthly charge. No problems following the move of those 3 items and although HL charged me a £75 exit charge, I've calculated that I'm saving approximately £30 per month in HL platform charges.

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dick barry

Oct 16, 2017 at 10:23

I too am having major probs with Barclays. I am transferring to HL.

3 ACCOUNTS. My wife's ISA has supposedly been transferred and appears on HL web site, however minus the 10k cash on the account and the BP preference shares she holds, these 2 items still appear on her Barclays acc.

Why are they hanging onto her cash, it must be easier to transfer cash than shares???

My ISA has not been transferred yet, neither has Joint Share account, its now nearly 1 month since Barclays got transfer request.

Barclays tell me that my dividends are ring fenced so wont be transferred to bank account but held as cash in ISA......why..???? Not only that I also have 10k in my ISA.....I WANT IT!! PLUS DIVS THAT HAVE ACCUMULATED.

They also seem to have a problem with transferring PREFERENCE SHARES....

I will never ever go near Barclays again, I consider them as incompetent, they are using our money to make money for themselves, totally unethical.

I feel sorry for the very helpful people who used to be with Barclays Stockbrokers, they have been shafted as well.

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Martin Stewart

Oct 16, 2017 at 14:30

Dick Barry

I am also in the process of exiting Barclays and transferring to HL which is a far

superior site. Non ISA Shares and Investment Trusts were quickly transferred on

18th. September. However one remaining Bond and Cash remain in the Barclays

Account with no transfer progress, despite frequent telephone reminders. I even received a letter from Barclays incorrectly confirming completion of this transfer

Clearly the exodus of Clients is causing transfer delays but with no correct confirmation on when the transfer will be completed I will initiate a formal complaint action.

It is very sad that Barclays should be reduced to this level of incompetence

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dick barry

Oct 16, 2017 at 16:52

Received letter confirming wife's ISA transfer from Barclays today, dated 11.10.17. Cobblers..still shares in Barclays account plus the cash. Spent best of PM today trying to sort out....useless twits.

They tried to blame HL for they think I'm an this space!

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Oct 16, 2017 at 17:53

General point: In discussion with one of the helpful staff at Tay House today ( They phoned me !!!!)

They are being told ''yes we're losing a few customers now'' but we're hoping to attract lots of new customers from the Barclay's current account population !!

He declined to answer my question as to did he believe this BS !

Very sad.

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dick barry

Oct 16, 2017 at 18:06

I have no problem with poor Sods who in the front line, they are decent helpful people, it's like 1st WW The innocents take the flak while those responsible get away with it. Bloody disgrace....!

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Eileen Abell

Oct 16, 2017 at 19:29


"Losing a few customers" ! Like the very many high value investors who are off to HL et al? Any new "customers" (why not "clients"?) from Barclay's much-maligned current account site will possibly be completely new to stocks and shares or funds etc, and have smaller amounts to invest. Barclay's will be tearing their hair out before too long. I pity the poor team at Tay House.

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dick barry

Oct 17, 2017 at 12:06

Further to my post yesterday......this AM the postman delivered 4, yes four letters from Barclays all identical to the one received yesterday concerning my wife's ISA transfer, all letters signed by Alister Thaw (director) . All stating transfer complete, which it isn't !!! All dated 11.10 .2017.

INCOMPETANCE is too mild a word....Iam speechless......

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Oct 17, 2017 at 13:08

Time to contact the ombudsman maybe?

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