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Familiarity breeds discontent

To begin with, I must explain that I am an old-fashioned sort of guy, having been in the industry for about twice as long as most of the people I speak to have been alive. Some would say I am a grumpy old man – something I actually take as a compliment.

Last Friday, a client advised me that Standard Life had transposed employee and employer stakeholder contributions when collecting under a monthly direct debit and asked me to sort it out.

Although it was gone 5pm, I noticed from the Standard Life headed paper that it could be contacted up to 5.30pm so I telephoned.

It was my first experience of its voice recognition answering device but after careful diction I did manage to get through to a human being in approximately the right department. I wonder how anyone with a heavy accent could manage this? I have difficulty understanding many of the call-centre staff that I speak to.

When it transpired that I had not got quite the right person to help me, the individual to whom I was speaking addressed me as “you guys”. I remarked that I was not happy to be so addressed. Old-fashioned I may be but I do not expect a degree of familiarity akin to that which may be used when sending text messages to arrange a night out.

Mel Boustead

Barbican Independent Financial Advisors,

Peterborough, Cambs


Davy brands Brown “ridiculous” over PTA U-turn

Gordon Brown should be congratulating people for taking out pension term assurance rather than discouraging them, says SimplyBiz chairman Ken Davy.Davy sent out a message to his 3,000 member IFAs saying it was ridiculous that the Treasury should attack tax relief on PTA. Davy says: “I believe it is ridiculous for the Treasury to attack […]

RBS says it has not ruled out move into sub-prime

Royal Bank of Scotland has not ruled out a move into the sub-prime market as the group posted strong profit forecasts.The firm says it is constan-tly reviewing its strategy to determine whether to launch into the adverse sector.RBS is one of the big lenders yet to either launch sub-prime deals or confirm an interest in […]

Leeds first lender to join Society of Mortgage Professionals

Leeds Building Society has joined the Society of Mortgage Professionals. Leeds is the first mortgage lender to enrol 30 of its mortgage advisers and branch managers with the Society of Mortgage Professionals. The move demonstrates the Leeds’ commitment to the mortgage market and the continuing professional development of its staff. SMP chief executive Richard Fox […]

New Star warns that Reit yields may be lower than expected

New Star is warning advisers and investors that yields on real estate investment trusts could be nowhere near as high as many are anticipating.Research by the fund manager found that estimated yield returns from listed property firms post-Reit conversion came in at between 2.6 and 3.5 per cent, with most towards the lower end of […]

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Pension Wise — now taking calls…

Those with decent-length memories will recall that in the 2014 Budget statement George Osborne announced the new (and entirely unexpected) pension freedoms. The new rules come fully into force in less than two weeks.


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