An IC reader asks:
Following Moira O'Neill's article "New ways to cut costs and pay less tax" in IC 18 September 2015 and after a long period of dissatisfaction with Selftrade (selftrade.co.uk) I decided to transfer my individual savings account (Isa) to Interactive Investor (www.iii.co.uk)
However, as I have £250,000 in the Isa portfolio, I thought it would be good to know a little more about Interactive Investor. I realise that Interactive Investor has passed all the regulatory hurdles and hold my cash in a client account. But it is a privately owned company and it is unwilling to tell me who its shareholders are or provide me with any further information than what is on the website. I asked for accounts and was refused - this can't be right.
I had the same problem with Selftrade over the years - surely any company seeking to hold my assets should be obliged to be more transparent?
My underlying concern is that I think Interactive Investor might be a Scottish company and I want to be certain that there is no significant connection with anyone involved in the Bank of Scotland and RBS debacles.
Interactive Investor replies:
We are an English based company and our head office is in London, with our customer service team in Glasgow.
Interactive Investor plc and its group of companies are registered in England and Wales (registered number 4752535) and governed by the Companies Act 2006. In line with all other registered companies, we submit financial accounts each year to Companies House, audited by independent accountants.
Our full accounts and a list of all shareholders can be obtained for free by going online to https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/ We apologise that this information was not passed on when you contacted us. Information about our board, directors and principal shareholders, along with the history of the company, can also be found at http://www.iii.co.uk/about-us
You can find us on the FCA's Register by entering our FCA reference 190551 at https://register.fca.org.uk/
As well as being regulated by the FCA, we are:
■ A London Stock Exchange member firm: member firm 315
■ An HM Revenue & Customs ISA Plan Manager
■ Participants in the Financial Services Compensation Scheme
■ A Corporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investments
■ A member of the Wealth Managers Association
■ A member of Tax Incentivised Savings Association (TISA)
With over £3bn in client assets and cash, client security and protection is our number one concern. Full details of how we protect client money, investments and data can be found at http://www.iii.co.uk/our_security
We have won 7 awards in the past 18 months and over 40 per cent of our clients are referred by friends and family, which is testament to our pricing, systems and service.
We sincerely hope that this provides you with the confidence you need to switch to Interactive Investor.