View more on these topics

Axing jobs will further damage admin standards

I, for one, am not remotely convinced by Norwich Union&#39s bland and tired old claim that cutting another 950 jobs will help them “to ensure the company continues its drive for efficiency”.

We have seen and heard it all before, not least in the wake of the closure of Norwich Union&#39s Cheadle Hulme office.

Like most IFA firms, we detest huge, faceless admin factories staffed by anonymous people who avoid all efforts to get them to take responsibility for seeing a job or problem through to a satisfactory conclusion. Cheadle Hulme was, though, one of the better factories. As factories go,it was tolerable to do business with.

Then it was axed, with its workload pushed on to Norwich Union&#39s Sheffield and York counterparts which have clearly been unable to cope.

Nowadays, Norwich Union is about as bad to try to do business with as any of the other traditional life offices – that is, dreadful.

We recently lost a client and her business as a result of repeated failures on the part of NU to set up a new direct-debit mandate for her life insurance policy. The client had sent them no less than three new direct-debit mandates, each of which was either lost or in some other way messed up.

There is a point beyond which driving down costs and raising efficiency cease to correlate positively.

NU has already passed that point. All that axing a further 950 jobs will achieve is further damage to its already parlous standards of service and administration.

The same is happening with all the other traditional with-profits life offices.

Colin Fogwill&#39s letter, in which he states that his firm does not use insurance companies&#39 funds and only their bond products where trust planning is part of the equation, merely serves to confirm this view, albeit from a slightly different perspective.

Julian Stevens

WDS, Bristol

Recommended

Skandia takes up basket weaving

Skandia&#39s protected portfolio investment range provides capital growth linked to a portfolio of five externally managed funds, with varying degrees of capital protection and return. The underlying portfolio of the protected portfolio investment contains the Framlington equity income, Schroder UK mid-250, New Star alpha, Norwich property trust and Invesco Perpetual corporate bond funds, which are […]

Base line serves up mixed views

Brokers are split over the effect of base rate increase and the Bank of England Governor&#39s comments on house prices and buyer activity. Chadney Bulgin partner David Thomas believes Mervyn King&#39s comments have had as much effect on the housing market as the recent 0.25 per cent base rate rise. He says levels of transactions […]

Government Actuary&#39s scathing attack on Tories&#39 &#39legislation for pension misselling&#39

Government Actuary Chris Daykin has made a blistering attack on regulation and says the previous Conservative Government deliberately passed pension legislation knowing it would lead to misselling. In an article for the journal of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Daykin accuses regulators of being “rigid and narrow-minded” in their criticisms of the selling of low-cost […]

IFAs take double hit on disorganisation

A survey by consultancy Vignette into the efficiency of the financial supply chain has found that most IFAs believe the inefficiency of product providers and disorganisation of clients are at fault in slowing down admin processes. IFAs say 58 per cent of product providers are disorganised and 17 per cent regularly lose customer documentation. On […]

Finding value in UK equities

By Mark Martin, Investment Director & Head of UK Equities Register for a live update on 9 July at 14.30 with Mark Martin, who will be discussing Chancellor George Osborne’s ‘emergency’ summer budget, the UK equity landscape post May’s General Election and his outlook for the second half of 2015. Mark will also highlight the […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment