AJ Bell is raising custody charges for shares, investment trusts and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) held on its Youinvest platform.
From 1 January, the cap on the platform’s 0.25% charge on shares held in Sipps, ISAs and dealing accounts will rise.
For shares held in Sipps, the existing £25 per quarter cap will be replaced with a £10 monthly maximum, raising the maximum charge from £100 to £120.
The hike will impact any customers with £40,000 or more of their Sipp held in shares, including investment trusts, ETFs, gilts and bonds. Those holding £50,000 or more in these investments will face the biggest increase, of £20 more in fees per year.
Customers holding shares on the platform’s ISA, lifetime ISA and dealing account will see the cap to their custody charge rise from £30 a year to £42, as the existing £7.50 per quarter maximum is replaced with a £3.50 monthly cap.
Those holding more than £12,000 in shares in these accounts will be affected, while customers with £16,800 or more will face the maximum rise of an extra £12 per year.
Customers holding shares in the platform’s Junior ISA also face rising charges, as the £5 per quarter cap is replaced with a £2.50 monthly maximum charge, equivalent to a rise in the annual charge cap from £20 to £30.
Investors with more than £8,000 held in shares in a Junior ISA will be affected, while those with £12,000 or more will pay £10 extra per year.
AJ Bell customers took to Twitter to complain about the rise in charges.
@AJBellYouinvest Got your new charges. Congratulations you’ve finally priced yourself out. Increase custody charge + 9.95 trade + 1.50 reinvest is too much. I’ll transfer out as soon as practical.
— Chris West (@ChrisWest179) December 1, 2020
@AJBellYouinvest 40% increase in custody charges?!? You are having a laugh, and I’m changing provider.
— Brandon Daly (@brandon_daly) December 1, 2020
A spokesman for AJ Bell said: ‘The cap on our shares custody charge has remained the same since October 2016 and a modest increase has been applied as part of these wider changes which also include the removal of our Sipp exit fee.’
Charges on funds held on the platform will be unaffected as fees are not capped. Instead, the 0.25% custody charge on funds held in an ISA or Sipp falls to 0.1% on assets over £250,000, 0.05% on assets over £1m and nil on assets over £2m.
While custody charges are increasing, AJ Bell has dropped drawdown charges and cut transfer fees.
The £90 charge on Sipp transfers to another pension scheme will be scrapped at the turn of the year, while a £25 per holding transfer charge that applies across all accounts will be reduced to £9.95.
Drawdown fees of £30 for one-off payments from Sipps, and £120 a year for regular payments, will also be removed from 1 January.
‘Pension drawdown is becoming increasingly popular following pension freedoms and removal of those charges will ensure customers only pay our low platform charge of up to 0.25% a year whether they are growing their pension or making withdrawals,’ said an AJ Bell spokesman.