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Aviva orphan cash blackout angers advocate

Aviva policyholder advocate Clare Spottiswoode has hit out at Aviva for forcing her to blank out key figures in her report on the reattribution of its inherited estate.

Aviva claims that some of the figures detailing what the inherited estate has been used for are commercially sensitive and told Spottiswoode to blank them out, but she does not believe they are sensitive and claims they would have been helpful to policyholders.

The redactions relate to the 2007 new business subsidy figures as well as other figures on the non-profit benefit reserve and persistency assumptions which had to be blanked out because it would be possible to derive the new business subsidy figures from them.

Office of the Policyholder Advocate director of communications Jonathan Haslam says: “We have had long discussions with Aviva over this. Spottiswoode thinks there is nothing commercially sensitive in these figures but Aviva has taken a different point of view and has said that certain figures must be redacted.

“We disagree and think it would be helpful to policyholders to be able to see all these figures. We cannot see that it would give a commercial leg-up to its competitors.”

An Aviva spokeswoman says that one figure was commercially sensitive and two others had to be blacked out in order to prevent the first figure from being calculated.

She says: “We have been fully transparent throughout the process and Spottiswoode and her team have had full access to all the figures. We are quite surprised at her reaction.”

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