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CGU and Widows lead for IFA support service

CGU and Scottish Widows have come out top in new research into telephone and online servicing methods for IFAs.

CGU is seen as having the most successful online support service for IFAs. It gained 26 per cent of the vote, with Skandia and Standard Life following close behind. The survey claims the merger of CGU and Norwich Union will lead to it continuing to be perceived as a strong online service provider.

Scottish Widows came out top for the improvement of its IFA telephone services, with 29 per cent of the vote.

Next was Norwich Union with 18 per cent while Standard Life, Legal & Gen-eral and CGU were grouped closely behind.

The findings, from a rep-ort called Telephone Servicing, E-commerce and the IFA, published by Henry Samuels Marketing Services, was based on interviews with 300 advisers.

It examined the relationship between 19 major life companies and IFAs based on 18 different forms of servicing and support.

The research also found a significant number of IFAs are not satisfied with their own computer skills despite extensive investment in equipment and training by product providers, industry bodies and IFAs themselves.

Only 11 per cent said they were very satisfied with their skills. In three surveys conducted over five years, figures for IFAs&#39 satisfaction with training levels have remained unchanged.

HSMS managing director Henry Samuels says: “Too many companies are perceived by independent advisers as providing less than adequate support through online services.

“While many IFAs lack computer skills, they have expectations for e-commerce that most product providers are failing to deliver.

“Financial sector computing training must keep pace with needs. Many training course have failed to provide the needed improvement in IFA computer confidence.”

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