“No man is an island,

entire of itself;

every man is a piece of the continent,

a part of the main.

If a clod be washed away by the sea,

Europe is the less,

as well as if a promontory were.

As well as if a manor of thy friend’s

or of thine own were.

Any man’s death diminishes me,

because I am involved in mankind;

and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;

it tolls for thee.”

English poet John Donne penned these immortal words in the 17th century and a couple of high street banks would do well to bear heed to his warnings.

My grievance comes from those banks who no longer talk to the financial advisers of their clients. 

Quite incredibly they chose back in 2017 to no longer accept any letters of authority to allow financial advisers access to information on their client accounts.  I never exactly found out why and I forgot this piece of information before I attempted to review a client’s investment ISA this past week and ran into this roadblock.

I had a widely accepted letter of authority signed by the client as they wanted an independent review of the performance of the investment, fearing it had been left unmanaged and their allocated adviser at the bank seeming showing no interest in advising them on it’s performance.

They will not speak to me on this issue nor another which prohibits the client from moving their ISA to us.  The client is required to comply with additional paperwork associated with the bank in question’s restructuring of their investment proposition and the client must adhere to the new service proposition before being allowed access to their funds.  Quite incredible.

It is very frustrating as the client will now have to request the information for me, which is not best usage of their time nor mine, but it reinforces the client held view that the bank is only happy advising on their own products and wants to restrict the client from understanding the wider alternatives available to them.

The situation reminded me of John Donne’s poem that ultimately the bell will toll for you if you act like an island.  It is interesting how these banks in question refuse to heed these warnings and ultimately by only looking to enhance their business at the expense of the client, they will suffer more client loss because of it.

Enjoy the journey classical poetry fans,