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Aviva sets out orphan clause

Aviva has added a clause to its terms of business document for IFAs, specifying that it can market directly to clients that it deems to be orphaned by their adviser.

The clause allows Aviva to issue “generic marketing” to IFAs’ clients.

The terms were updated last week for the firm’s rebranding, bringing the orphan customer clause to the attention of IFAs, although the clause was added to the company’s terms of business last autumn.

It states: “We will endeavour not to initiate contact directly with customers in order to promote and sell business without your consent except in circumstances where in our reasonable view the customer is an orphan customer.”

Aviva defines an orphan customer as someone who requests the insurer to pro- vide advice, indicates they no longer receive advice from their IFA or their adviser is no longer authorised.

The firm previously revealed plans to target 1.4 million existing customers it believes have no active adviser.

Nucleus chief executive David Ferguson says: “Life companies have controlled the retail sector for the past 30-40 years but growing professionalism in the IFA community is increasingly marginalising their role and this is leading to defensive mech- anisms such as this. If I were an IFA, I would think twice about where I place my business.”

Helm Godfrey managing director Bruce Wilson says: “The danger is that Aviva steps on the toes of an IFA who actually is looking after these clients.”

Aviva distribution director Angela Seymour-Jackson says: “We will ask if they have an IFA and if they do, we will not engage with them unless they have not been in touch for five years. There will be no leading questions. IFAs are our biggest distribution channel so it is not in our interest to upset them.”

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