Adler Insurance Services partner Barrie Viner’s client of two decades was switched to Aviva’s direct sales division despite stating he was introduced by an IFA. The client contacted Aviva to request details of his pension plan and when asked if he used an IFA, he responded, “I have done in the past, yes,” according to a transcript, seen by Money Marketing.
The client agreed to deal directly with Aviva, believing that this was only in relation to his specific query. The firm wrote to the client and Adler to con- firm transfer of client servicing.
The client replied, reversing the transfer and stating: “It was never my intention to remove Adler as the servicing adviser for this policy.”
Viner says: “I am appalled. I dread to think how many customers have been adversely affected. It must be purely rooted in the desire to retain as many client funds as possible for commercial reasons.”
An Aviva spokesman apologised, saying it was a misunderstanding and insisted that the company is not trying to steal advisers’ clients.
He says: “Aviva Direct acted on the client’s instructions, how- ever, we have identified a training and a script issue that we will now address. We will reverse the change of agent back to the IFA.”