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Consolidation will cut competition and slash service

I have just come off the telephone answering a call from a long suffering client unfortunate enough to have a group personal pension policy with Norwich Union.

Despite numerous calls, Norwich Union are still unable to collect the correct premium. And it is not just the GPPP section of NU but also every department is unable to provide any semblance of decent service.

I am therefore unable to recommend NU to any client, and will not do so until the situation improves radically.

It is therefore with horror that I read in Money Marketing that Gary Withers, UK chief executive of NU, considers that the UK market is not sufficiently consolidated and that the market leader should have 15 to 20 per cent market share and that NU should be the first to do this.

It was the consolidation of Provident Mutual, General Accident, Commercial Union and Norwich Union that, far from creating an efficient cost-effective company, was the start of their descent into the farcical situation that we have now.

Any more consolidation will remove competition yet further from the marketplace and create a small number of large monolithic corporations whose interest is solely in the bottom line to the detriment of the service that they are meant to supply.

This will allow NU to continue to abrogate any responsibility to their customers and IFAs for the additional workload created through their incompetence.

It is time that NU remembered that we are a service industry, because at present they are providing precious little of it.

Charles Dickson Charles Dickson Financial Planning Hindhead, Surrey

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