Hargreaves Lansdown reports Windsor to FSA

Hargreaves Lansdown says it will be reporting Windsor Life to the FSA after at least 30 of its clients were left waiting weeks for annuity payments and policy transfers.

Tomorrow transferred its back book of pension busi-ness to Windsor Life in December and Money Marketing has since been flooded with complaints from adv-isers regarding the firm’s service standards.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says: “We have made a formal complaint to Windsor Life because 30 of our clients have been affected. We will also be writing to the FSA.

“Windsor Life is not concerned about its reputation because it is not writing new business. The only effective way to focus its mind is to fine the firm.”

Jamieson Financial Management principal Bruce Jamieson says: “Windsor Life failed to send the money for an annuity at the beginning of December and it is now mid-March and there is still no sign of it. The company really does seem to be in total meltdown. It is impossible to get any kind of communication at all.”

Norwest Consultants principal Harry Katz says: “I have a client that has been waiting for three months for payments. It has always had abysmal service. I can hardly recall a time when my dealings with the firm have not resulted in a complaint.”

A Windsor Life spokeswoman says: “This was a successful transfer but we continue to face some backlog because of an exceptionally high volume of queries from IFAs and policyholders. We have implemented addit-ional call-centre capacity to ensure that we return to our normally excellent levels of service as quickly as possible.”

FSA spokesman Robin Gordon Walker says: “It is obviously extremely important that the admin of pensions and annuities meet treating customers fairly principles.”