A South-west IFA has slammed product pro-viders for making his clients even more cynical about the financial services industry.
Anstey Financial Planning director Gerard O'Boyle believes his clients are losing out and his business is suffering because
providers are not dealing with them fairly.
He has made complaints to Clerical Medical, Pearl, Jupiter and Legal & General but does not believe he has received a satisfactory response from any of the companies and is not “holding his breath” for improvements.
O'Boyle is angry at Clerical after a client had been made redundant and wanted to take a loan out against his pension but was unable to do so because he faced a £4,000 MVA to switch pensions within the company.
He says he had to placate another client who got notification from Jupiter showing reinvestment of dividends in an ecology fund. The new units purchased were at an offer price despite his client already having paid the initial charges when she originally invested.
A client with a paid-up Pearl pension also faced a dilemma where he could either transfer his fund immediately and lose more than half of it or leave it to lose money through charges as it matures.
Another client with a Legal & General with-profits bond was told that their 5 per cent income withdrawal exceeded the current bonus and an MVA would be levied on the difference.
O'Boyle believes he has seen a marked decline in service from providers over the last 12 months, with his phone bill rocketing due to having to make many more calls.
He says: “I think there is already so much cynicism out there from consumers that it is difficult to understand why the providers are making life so difficult. They use Draconian methods to deal with people.It is all sharp practice.”
Clerical Medical head of public relations Gordon McAra says:
“Obviously, we are sympathetic to the problem but it is standard practice to charge an MVA if a policy is moving from one style of management to another.
“In this case, he may well be moving from with-profits to
unit-linked. We are always willing to help and there may be something that we can do to resolve the situation.”