Alliance Trust Savings - New Charges

platforms

#1

Alliance Trust Savings have (ATS)announced their new charges which will apply from Feb 2017.
Generally prices are going up but now include some online bundled online trades, also the online trade charge is being reduced.

Some Key Issues to consider

  • the bundled online trades are not general commission credit (so can’t be used for monthly dealing or the dividend re-investment)
  • limit orders still don’t get the loyalty discount (why NOT!!)
  • they are waiving the transfer out fees until end Jan

My household has a Junior ISA, ISA and SIPP - given we also have accounts with Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) and Interactive Investor (III) - I’m tempted to transfer some of the accounts (whilst the transfer out fees are waived) - I only hold ETFS and trusts on their platform.

The things I like about ATS are

  • monthly Direct debit investment is cheap (£1.5) and you can choose any trust (unlike HL where FTSE350 only, but III offer similar functionality)
  • the dividend re-investment actually allows cheap monthly dealing (£5) by allocating cash to an existing holding (not offered with HL, but III allows this for £1.5 a trade)

The website is ok - but charting/comparison tools on HL are much better.

Any other views on sticking with or leaving ATS?


#2

I’ve worked out I will benefit from it because I do a few trades a year. On average I trade around 4-6 times.

I suspect that ATS were charging too little, and not making enough profit to generate a return that persuades Alliance Trust to hold on to the business.

I think the move makes it uneconomic to hold smaller accounts with ATS though @scjim. I would like to open a child ISA with ATS but they don’t seems to have a facility to link it up to my account to benefit form lower fees making it uneconomic. This seems misguided to me because if I open a child ISA elsewhere I might just like the service enough to move my entire account.


#3

For those who aren’t familiar with the changes at Alliance Trust Savings the fees and major changes from the 1st Feb 2017 are:

  • Reduction of online trading charges, down from £12.50 per trade to £9.99 (plus there is a loyalty discount that increases the longer you’re with them)
  • Standard account charges increased by £2.50 per month, so from £7.50pm to £10pm for an ISA, but they now include 4 trades per year
  • Offline trading (phone, post) charges up from £40 to £50, but a loyalty discount introduced for phone trades
  • New £25+VAT per year “paper” charge if you don’t go paperless
  • Dividend reinvestments and regular buys remain at £5 and £1.50 respectively
  • Ability to purchase online trading bundles at a discount, e.g. buy 25 trades in advance for £8.33 per trade
  • If you don’t like any/all of that they’re waiving their transfer out charges if they get completed forms by 27/01/17.

These costs are fairly reasonable to me and competitive for the level of service you get.


#4

I am leaving. Their customer service has been bad beyond belief - earlier this year they advised that they has lost £100 from my father’s probate ten years ago and after several months they have neither rectified the error or offered any compensation. This is just the last in a string of errors which have collectively lost me a respectable sum. And the website is shabby.