Posts Tagged ‘BNY Mellon’

Computershare is WAY better than BNY Mellon

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Recently, I wrote about BNY Mellon’s inept handling of 2010 1099-OIDs for Israel bonds, my relief that the State of Israel had decided to replace BNY Mellon with Computershare as the fiscal agent for Israel Bonds purchased in the U.S., and my hope that Computershare would be better than BNY Mellon.

Less than 12 hours after I posted that blog entry, I received email from someone at Computershare:

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Thank God Israel Bonds kicked BNY Mellon to the curb

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

My wife and I own a number of Israeli Bonds purchased over the course of many years (typically after annual High Holiday appeals). Many of these bonds are Original Issue Discount (OID) bonds. Dispensing with all the technical details, the general idea of an OID bond is that you get a 1099-OID statement every year showing how much you have to report to the IRS and pay taxes on as income, but you don’t actually get the money you’ve thus reported until the bond matures and you redeem it.

Until very recently, Israeli Bonds sold in the United States were administered by BNY Mellon. They’ve been the agents for some other stock I’ve owned, and they have been consistently difficult and unpleasant to deal with.

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Citi Smith Barney refunds transfer fees

Monday, December 15th, 2008

I wrote previously about the painful experience I had trying to transfer from stock from Citi Smith Barney into my Vanguard brokerage account, and about the bogus transfer fee that Citi Smith Barney charged me without prior notice.

Citi Smith Barney charged the fee because I initiated the stock transfer from Vanguard.  I did it this way because the Vanguard instructions complete and comprehensible, whereas the Citi Smith Barney instructions were gobbledygook.

Since then, I dealt with another transfer agent, BNY Mellon, about transferring some shares of stock from them to my Vanguard account.  Their policy, believe it or not, is to charge a fee for transfers initiated through them, but to do it for free if the transfer is initiated through Vanguard.

Yes, that’s right, Citi Smith Barney charges for what BNY Mellon does for free, and BNY Mellon charges for what Citi Smith Barney does for free.  This illustrates rather clearly, I think, how completely bogus and detached from reality these fees are.

In any case, I received a letter from Citi Smith Barney today in which they admitted no wrongdoing (of course) but agreed to refund the fees “as an accommodation to you.”  How civil of them.

One cannot help but wonder if the substantive feedback I gave them about the quality of their services will ever be seen and considered by someone who might be able to act on it.  I doubt it.