An adviser has attacked Aviva for selling his client an annuity by contacting her directly.
The Grosvenor Consultancy managing director Dave Chau-ndy requested a retirement wake-up pack for his client, who had recently been made redundant, to secure the best annuity rate on the market.
Aviva sent the pack directly to the client and she returned it, opting for a conventional Aviva annuity.
Chaundy says when she received the documents, the client believed it was the product he was recommending as the most appropriate for her.
In new terms of business Aviva claims it will endeavour not to initiate contact directly with IFAs’ clients to promote products, except where it believes the customer is an orphan client.
Chaundy says: “Had the pack been sent to us, the client would have been advised not to purchase an annuity from Aviva and would have benefited from a higher rate. We hear the usual platitudes that it is not the intention to cut IFAs out of the loop but these actions give lie to Aviva’s assurances. They cannot be trusted to distinguish genuine orphan clients and cannot be trusted to deal with the IFA even when he makes the enquiry.”
Aviva says the client ticked a box saying they received no advice. A spokesman says: “The adviser requested a retirement pack for this client and it was sent to the customer in error. Aviva apologises for any inconvenience and is now liaising with the adviser to discuss how this can be remedied. It is incorrect to suggest Aviva is trying to take clients away from advisers.”