by Anura Guruge
I have nothing but total utter contempt for this company and for the world of me cannot understand why an American, living in America, would ever think of investing with RBC. from what I have seen they have NOTHING, but nothing, going for them. They are desperate to cling on, at any and all costs, to the assets they hold and will go to extremes, including outright duplicity, to try and prevent you from withdrawing assets.
I would never have invested with RBC. I am partial to good ol’ American and British institutions, in particular Fidelity Investments, Barclays, Bank of AMERICA and TD Ameritrade.
I only had to deal with this miserable outfit because an elderly relative of Devanee’s had set up two 529 College Funds for her. He died last year and towards the latter part of the year I had to become the Custodian of these accounts since she, at 15, is still a minor. One of the accounts was with Blackrock and the other with bloody RBC.
Blackrock was a delight to deal with. Kudos and thank you. I was very impressed. IF I ever seriously thought of leaving Fidelity (and recently they informed me that I had been a customer for 30 years) I would consider Blackrock.
RBC was the polar opposite to Blackrock.
In December 2015 I had to first start the process of having the Custodianship transferred over to me. That is fairly involved and required ‘Medallion Guarantees‘ (which I had never heard of before in 40-years of financial dealings), death certificates and letters of intent. But finally got it done. Blackrock, on my very first call to them, went about setting up an online account for me so that I would have immediate access to the 529 account as soon as they received and processed the paperwork. Given that I am so used to doing my financial transactions online, that was neat and v. helpful. Not so with RBC. All the time I was with them I never had online access. I, nonetheless, managed to get everything transferred and set up with RBC.
After I took over the accounts my immediate druthers, quite naturally, was to have the 2 accounts transferred to Fidelity. Devanee already had an account at Fidelity and I, as some of you know, have a Fidelity tab open on this PC for 12-14 hours a day. It was just more convenient for me to have everything at Fidelity PLUS Fidelity doesn’t charge exorbitant fees and commissions.
So I set about trying to Rollover the two 529s using the Standard Rollover Form provided by Fidelity. And yes Fidelity helped me, over the phone, fill them in and get them correct.
In addition to the Rollover form Fidelity (quite rightly) requires a current statement of the account being rolled over so that they can make sure all is in order.
Getting a statement from Blackrock was no problem. I just logged on and printed one.
With RBC, as with all my dealings with them, I had to call them. I called them in February 2016 to ask for a statement. They said that they would be sending one to be, automatically, in April, for the first quarter — and that I should wait for that. I waited until the 3rd week in April. Called again. They said my statement was going out that week. I waited two weeks Nothing. Called again. They said they mailed me a statement. So I asked them what address they mailed it to. They gave me the address of the now deceased, previous custodian! I asked them whether that was the name and address they had for the account. They admitted that it was NOT and that this was in error. They also volunteered that this happens quite often. INCOMPETENCE.
They sent me a statement. I forwarded it to Fidelity, along with the 529 Rollover form in early May. A couple of weeks later, mid-May, I had a letter from Fidelity saying that they had sent to Rollover form to RBC and that they expected the proceeds to sent over within a couple of weeks.
Here are extracts from the Rollover form sent to RBC. Fidelity helped me, as they did with the Blackrock form, to fill this in and they, OBVIOUSLY, checked it, diligently, before they sent it over to RBC. Fidelity does not screw up often.
Click to ENLARGE and see …
(Sorry I wiped out account numbers etc.)
I waited, patiently, until June 20 before I called up Fidelity to ask why the funds had not arrived. They asked me to call RBC. I did.
RBC said that on May 19th they had REJECTED the Rollover because the Rollover form did not contain Devanee’s name!
That is a bold face lie. See the proof above. Plus Fidelity has copies of what they sent. Devanee’s name and social were on the Form, in the right place.
They just did NOT want to execute the Rollover because they didn’t want to lose the assets.
They claim that they sent a rejection letter to Fidelity on May 19th. Well Fidelity never got it.
DUPLICITOUS and INCOMPETENT.
I was beyond livid my now. Told them to liquidate the assets and send me a check. Said they couldn’t because there was a BLOCK on my account! Why was there a BLOCK on my account. Because they had received mail saying undeliverable. And why was that? Because they sent it to the P.O. Box of a deceased person! INCOMPETENCE.
I finally got a check. They charged $149.94 to sell 148 shares of a U.S. company! In totally this SCUMMY company charged me $351.94 to sell 184 shares! In essence they exploited a 15-year old child. Their commission came to 6.15% of the proceeds. That is disgusting.
So BE WARNED. RBC is scum. Stay clear of them. Why an American would want to deal with this outfit when WE have world class institutions — like Fidelity and Blackrock — defies comprehension.
That is it. Nothing more that needs to be said.
From ‘MarketWatch.com’. Click to ENLARGE.
Well RBC was recently DOWNGRADED to ‘negative’ by S&P. Click on image to access the full original.
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by Anura Guruge