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Categories:Corporate Advice

Aviva action group says 250,000 will be left in dark

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Helen Pow

The Norwich Union Policyholder Action Group has hit out at Aviva after it was told 250,000 policyholders eligible for a slice of the inherited estate may not receive their information packs before the firm’s scheduled roadshows.

The firm announced this week that it has begun sending out packs inviting one million policyholders to vote in the proposed reattribution of the firm’s estate.

The packs include the minimum payment each policyholder would receive if they agreed to the reattribution and information booklets from both Aviva and policyholder advocate Clare Spottiswoode.

Aviva has confirmed that 50,000 packs are being sent out each day and that the process would take “about a month” to complete.

But the reattribution roadshows, which are designed to answer policyholders’ questions and help them decide whether to take their payment or not, begin on June 23.

The London, Exeter, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester and Jersey shows will have taken place before every policyholder has had a chance to consider their individual offer.

Aviva has told policyholders not to get in touch to query the whereabouts of their information pack until July 2.

Joint founder of the action group Philip Meadowcroft says: “It is incredibly arrogant of Aviva and the policyholder advocate to hold these roadshows knowing full well that the packs would not be out in time - a quarter of a million people will not have had their paperwork.

“It is dishonourable conduct but it is conduct we have come to expect. This is a form of financial fascism, to say ‘we know what is best for you and you’ll take it’.”

Aviva reattribution director Gary Price says: “I do not accept that in any way customers are disadvantaged if they do not receive their pack before their roadshow.

“The pack itself, we believe, provides all the information a customer needs to make an informed choice. If they have any questions they can ring the policyholder advocate or us or log on to our website. The roadshows are just one of the ways that people can get questions answered.

“We are not allowed to start issuing our packs until we get to a certain point in the process. We wanted to make sure, given we are going to the High Court in September, that customers have adequate time to consider the offer. And we did not want to run roadshows during the main summer holiday period.”

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Readers' comments (16)

  • Aviva action group says 250,000 will be left in dark
    Of Aviva, Philip Meadowcroft is quoted as saying "This is a form of financial fascism, to say ‘we know what is best for you and you’ll take it’."
    Mr Meadowcroft ~ all Aviva is doing is taking its lead from the FSA. It's what we've all come wearily to expect from so many parts of this industry, which is why so many people employed in it are either throwing in the towel or dearly wish they could. In the meantime, the best we can do is shun such organisations and place our business exclusively with the small handful companies who do still support the IFA sector.

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  • Policyholders Advocate?
    Following the bungling and delay making the payout to policyholders halving the value of the award, the 'policyholders advocate' has shown further disregard for the people she represents. Now a UK tour to string out the job some more, going ahead even though highly compromised as yet again the policyholders are kept in the dark. Just who's side are you on?

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  • Lucky me!!
    I received my voting pack in the post today, guess I am one of the lucky ones. However was not surprised to see that a change of name has not changed NU administration, there was no voting form enclosed......... So I am back in the queue :-)

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  • Aviva policyholders left in dark
    I was a Norwich Union (now Aviva) with-profits policyholder for 25 years but both my policies matured mid 2008 and so I have been disqualified (by Aviva) from receiving my full payment simply because I paid all my premia right through 2*25 year policies but the policies matured "too early"!! The reason Aviva gave for not paying me the full amount was that they didn't want to destabilize stockmarkets.......thank God that didn't happen then!! This proposed Reattribution looks very fishy to me. I've been left in the dark without me full payment!!!

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  • Julian who does support IFA's?
    I spent a good deal of my day today helping IFA's with technical issues, so it is just does ring true to me that big companies don't support IFA's Or do you suggest that IFA's should only do business with companies that only write IFA business? ie IFA's should boycot any company who also has a connection with a bank or DSF? Its a bit like the federation of grocers (if there is such a thing) saying to Kellogs we won't buy your cornflakes because you also supply Tesco.

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  • Aviva policyholders will be left in dark
    Aviva’s web site states:- Under Notes to editors The "inherited estate" is part of a with profits fund. It is the amount over and above that which is required to meet realistic liabilities and which the insurance company retains to ensure it can meet its promises to customers; provide investment flexibility; and provide the initial capital to support new business. The inherited estate has been built up over many years and is an asset of the company. (2004 to 2007 The Inherited Estate really grew in size in comparison to the With-Profit Fund, this was to the detriment of policyholders bonuses. The information is in the Twelfth Report of Session 2007-2008 of the Treasury Select Committee into the Inherited Estates which the FSA blatantly ignored.) General Accident sold its policies under Files of association where all the With- Profit fund has to be 90% to policyholders and 10% to shareholders. When NU/Aviva took over these policies they also took over the contracts. Therefore they should have distributed all the surplus money on this ratio basis. Instead, with the help of the FSA and the muppet they employ, they are breaking these contracts in the form of reattribution. This is why so many people are fed up with the whole fiasco. NU/Aviva leaves the policyholders in the dark by being secretive and not transparent.

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  • Aviva action group says 250,000 will be left in dark
    Aviva are contemptuous of FSA; Claire Spottiswoode and above all policyholders. FSA are contemptuous of everybody. Claire Spottiswoode finds policyholders an irritating distraction from her main task of drawing her £250k salary.

    I have got a pain in the neck.


    Was it too much to expect Aviva and Claire Spottiswoode to talk to each other about the timing of the dispatch of packs in relation to the roadshows? It seems it was.

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  • Aviva Action Group says 250,000 will be left in dark.
    I wholeheartly agree with Philip Meadowcroft that both Aviva, and the policyholder advocate, are failing in there duty of care to policyholders, in this whole reattribution scam. The whole process is a farce, the FSA is allowing Aviva to rob the IE blind, to the detriment of policyholders. The PA is supposed to represent policyholders , but has failed to do that. The PIP offer is a smaller percentage than the first offer. And the independance of the with-profts committee is a farce, it is a sub board, to the main Aviva Board. The fiasco is ongoing and the utter imcompetance is evident for all to see.

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  • Of course we are left in the dark
    Its to be expected that policyholders are left in the dark after all we have been told for 2 years, "do nothing". Its ridiculous that after a 3 year reattribution process NU/Aviva could not organise with the PA to send out the documentation in plenty of time before the road shows. This is definitely not treating policyholders fairly. Not that there is any point in complaining to the FSA, I tried that it is a waste of time. How can it take Aviva 3 years to organise the "within the rules" and less than transparent snaffling of £2.7b from the policyholders pockets. I realise that Aviva will say that the IE actually belongs to them but as the MP's proved recently just because that's what the rules say doesn't make it right or morally responsible. In the same way just because you have acted "within the rules" doesn't mean you will remain in power to continue to deceive.

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  • Aviva action group says 250,000 will be left in dark
    Aviva reattribution director Gary Price has now confirmed, Aviva is running the road show by stating that:- We (Aviva) did not want to run the road show during the main summer holiday period. What a berk.

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