Aegon is incorrectly informing clients that it has had no recent contact with their adviser in letters which threaten to cancel servicing rights, advisers claim.
As part of a client contact exercise which began last year, Aegon is writing to all clients where it has had no interaction with the adviser in the past 12 months. But advisers say the provider is failing to properly take account of online activity.
The letter says: “Your adviser hasn’t been in touch with us for some time. Unless you tell us otherwise, we’ll remove them as your adviser within the next 28 days and they’ll have no further access to your plan.”
If customers do not respond, Aegon will remove the adviser’s servicing rights and cancel any trail commission.
Alberni Independent Financial Advice principal Patrick Schan says one of his clients has received a letter despite him having carried out an online valuation through Aegon’s adviser portal in August 2013.
Another adviser, who does not want to be named, says: “Half a dozen of my clients have received one of these letters, all of whom I have done an online valuation for in the past 12 months. Their data is at fault here; clearly they cannot tell whether an adviser has been in touch or not.”
A spokesman for Aegon says it takes into account any adviser contact on a plan, whether by letter, email, phone or via the portal. He says: “If advisers believe servicing rights have been removed incorrectly, they can contact us and we will reinstate them, subject to confirmation from the customer.”