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HBOS gets blame for poor service

Equitable Life has responded to complaints about its poor service standards by blaming third-party administrator HBOS.

At last week&#39s AGM, chairman Vanni Treves faced repeated complaints of poor service by policyholders but said Equitable is powerless to improve poor delivery from HBOS.

He said Equitable is unable to vary the terms of a 10-year outsourcing deal signed with HBOS in 2001. HBOS provides administration services on a non-profit basis as part of the 2001 agreement that saw it buy Equitable&#39s operational assets.

Treves said: “We have been staggeringly polite in our criticisms of HBOS in the circumstances. Standards of service have been a constant cause of concern for us but all administration has been handed over to HBOS.”

HBOS spokesman Shane O&#39Riordan says: “These are the same 1,000 people who were servicing policyholders before we took over. We provide admin at cost and make no margin on it. For a closed fund like Equitable, every penny counts and they would not get this deal elsewhere.”

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