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Adviser clashes with Pru over client contact

An adviser claims Prudential has “swooped in” and dealt directly with his client after receiving a letter of authority from his firm.

Penguin Wealth certified financial planner Craig Palfrey has submitted a formal complaint to the provider.

Palfrey says he received an enquiry through Penguin’s online and telephone advice business Get Financial Advice from a consumer with a Prudential pension who wanted advice on his at-retirement options.

He says the firm approached Prudential with an LOA for information in November and provided an options report for the client.

Palfrey says: “When we contacted the client last week to ask how he wanted to proceed, he said Prudential had called him and sent an adviser round to see him. He has now decided to proceed through them.

“I am livid with Prudential. I would not expect for one minute to find a provider re-engaging with a client after we had approached for information.

“I believe Prudential saw the LOA and swooped back in to contact the client.”

A Prudential spokesman says: “Adviser relationships are very important to us and where an adviser has full servicing rights we withdraw from the relationship.

“However, in this instance Prudential Financial Planning holds the full servicing rights for the client and it was the client who initiated the most recent interaction between us.”

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Personally I would lose much sleep over this

    It would be interesting if Penguin charged the client for the “options” report ? if they did OK, if they didn’t then more fool them (IMHO)

    My days are long gone to offer free anything, I charge for initial meetings and anything thereafter.

    I do wonder in this instance if a client who wanted to deal with the Pru was worth having anyway ? and the Pru is a business like any other; are you really going to turn business down because of some unwritten code ?

  2. It seems clear from Prudential’s response that the client approached Pru, so it is the client who is at fault (although of course he has a right to approach them direct even after your advice) That doesn’t absolve him from liability for your fees.. In a fee based world presumably you had a valid fee agreement in place. Invoice the client, as you have done the work and he is liable. If you don’t have the fee agreement in place, you should review your procedures.

  3. Take it today is a slow news day?!?!

    To me this smacks of a ‘They’re trying to steal all my clients!’ type of paranoia that isn’t necessarily grounded in reality.

    Quick, pass out the tinfoil hats…

  4. The Prudential has its own adviser arm and its well known their advisers had access to the policyholders forthcoming annuity business. The FCA in the past seemed to suggest providers hadn’t offered all the options they should have especially ‘open market option’ to their pension policyholders. I don’t know if this is true or not. However, I would love to know how much actual pension transfer annuity business from Prudential policyholders went to other providers under the ‘open market’ option. Especially, when said same customers had a chance of an enhancement for ill health etc. They might not have stolen these particular clients but it would be very interesting to see if the client involved could have been better off elsewhere.

  5. Not surprised at all as Pru need all thebusiness they can get by all accounts!!! They have prospered well from annuities and can see this slipping away from them – cant see I feel sorry for them – theyhave never considered Advisers or Clients when they were pulling in the money from them

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