Vanguard’s website issues mostly resolved, but likely won’t be forgotten


Vanguard attributed the issue to a “third-party service provider disruption” which made “certain tax returns, confirmations and forms” unavailable on its website and mobile app. He did not identify the supplier.

Vanguard has had technical issues with the website over the years, but this one, which arrives just before the end of the year – a crucial time for investors given year-end deadlines for contributions. counting, minimum required distributions, and financial planning for the new year – might be the most consistent.

“This one could potentially cause more reputational damage due to its length and severity,” said Craig Iskowitz, Founder and CEO of Ezra Group. “However, there’s a good chance that this will only affect a small vocal group out of their 30 million customers, so I think the long-term fallout will be minimal.”

Vanguard investors tend to be very loyal to a company that has built its reputation by serving them. But the asset manager now faces heavy competition from other companies that also charge extremely low fees but spend more on technology, like Fidelity, according to Wiener. Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley said the company spends $ 1 billion a year on technology. Fidelity claims to have spent $ 2.5 billion.

Iskowitz notes that website issues plagued several asset managers, sometimes at the same time, as happened in November 2020 when service issues hit Fidelity, Ameritrade, Vanguard, Merrill and Schwab. “Unfortunately, that’s part of the deal when everyone is relying on a small group of cloud providers,” he said. “When you break down, it affects dozens if not hundreds of businesses simultaneously.”

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