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D&B scores own goal with glitch

Credit-rating agency Dun & Bradstreet has written to over 300 companies to apologise after a system glitch downgraded the firms’ credit risk ratings.

D&B’s ratings on companies’ financial strength are a key part of the data which is used by the Pension Protection Fund to calculate individual companies’ risk-based levies.

D&B says that it updated its scoring system last month but a technical glitch resulted in many businesses being wrongly rescored.

First Actuarial director Alan Smith says that if this had happened earlier in the year it would have doubled some clients’ levies to the PPF.

Smith says: “It is just as well this did not happen earlier. Fortunately, the problem will not affect the Pension Protection Fund levy this year, which was based on figures from Dun & Bradstreet in March, but it certainly does not inspire confidence in the accuracy of the system.”

D&B senior operations manager Mark Preston says: “We continually update our systems and this was put in early in June. We spotted the anomaly and our team contacted all the businesses affected. The corrections were made and all were given their correct scores. We have now made even more extensive checks to our systems to ensure that this does not happen again.”


Cowman makes call for standard forms

Just Retirement protection manager Paul Cowman believes life offices should standardise their application forms to make it easier for advisers and clients to avoid non-disclosure.He said the mortgage and pension markets have produced common forms for products such as equity release and annuities, which have been a success.Cowman said: “It would make it easier for […]

Darling in for the long haul

The loan market has been scathing about Chancellor Alistair Darling’s proposals to boost the supply of long-term fixes, reports Tanya Powley After just two weeks in his new role as Chancellor, Alistair Darling has got the mortgage industry up in arms with his announcement that the Government will boost the supply of long-term fixed-rate products […]


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