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IFAs say Axa sneaked out second bonus declaration

IFAs have accused Axa of sneaking out a second interim bonuses declaration which sees payouts on with-profits slashed for the third time this year.

The life office blames the latest cuts of 2 per cent to 8 per cent for bonds and up to 7 per cent for pensions on the falling stockmarket.

In its annual declaration in March, it axed payouts for all with-profits by bet-ween 7 and 7.5 per cent. This was followed by a an interim cut in July, which saw with-profits bonds payouts cut by 3 to 6 per cent and pensions cut by 4-7 per cent.

Rival firms have issued announcements and taken out ads spelling out cuts.

In the summer, Axa stopped selling with-profits and has yet to decide whether to re-enter the market.

Axa spokeswoman Liz Pritchard says: “We prefer to manage customers rather than putting out a blanket statement.

“It is easier to wait for customers to approach us rather than be proactive.”

Chartwell Investment Management director Patrick Connolly says: “To sneak changes out is not the way forward but Axa is not actively in the market and its commitment going forward is questionable.”

•Scottish Life this week also announced interim cuts to its with-profits payouts of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent.

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