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Advisers say service is improving

Axa has again finished bottom of the Sesame Provider Service Index, with Just Retirement retaining top position.

Skandia remains in second place while Legal & General moves up to third in Sesame’s half-yearly survey of provider service standards.

Scottish Life made the most significant headway, climbing from 20th to 12th place in the table.

Canada Life drops eight places to 20th position out of 21 providers, with Abbey coming third from bottom.

A total of 507 advisers took part in the survey, 49 per cent more than last time.

Adviser satisfaction levels are up by 16 per cent in the latest survey. Thirty-seven per cent of advisers say overall service is good or exceptional compared with 32 per cent last time. There is a 24 per cent fall in the number of adviser who think overall service levels are unacceptable or totally unacceptable.

However, advisers are still spending five-and-a-half hours a week chasing providers for information. Handling phone calls and processing business are the two areas where advisers would most like to see improvement.

Sales and marketing director Stephen Young says: “The 49 per cent surge in the number of advisers who took part in our study clearly shows the importance of provider service to advisers. This latest increase in overall satisfaction levels makes very encouraging reading but there is still considerable room for improvement.”

Axa spokesman Paul Riddell says: “We are disappointed that participants rated Axa’s service behind that of our competitors. We believe that this is a reflection of some particular historical problems where service fell below acceptable standards. These issues were picked up as part of a detailed service enhancement programme in 2007 and significant improvements are beginning to be seen.”


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