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Long delays as NU struggles with overload

Norwich Union appears to be creaking at the seams in coping with new business levels, with IFAs recounting horror stories of dealing with the life office.

IFAs say they are experiencing severe backlogs of up to six months with some still waiting for policy documents for stakeholder applications sent in October last year.

But NU&#39s problems seem to go deeper than just a stakeholder business bottleneck. Admin bungles are occurring across its product range from Isas to life cover.

IFAs say policy documents often have errors such as misspelled names and wrong premiums.

Some policies have then gone months without premiums being collected. Cheques have gone astray, direct-debit forms have been mislaid and IFA cases processed as direct sales.

NU&#39s call-centre system is also coming under fire, with IFAs reporting an average holding time of 8.5 minutes.

Hargreaves Lansdown recently hauled in its regional NU team, taking them to task over appalling servicing standards.

NU says it has made significant investments to improve its systems and IFAs will start to see servicing standards improve soon.

Director of marketing Robert Fletcher says: “We are acutely aware of servicing problems. Business volumes have outstripped our resources. We have taken steps to put it right and while it is starting to filter through, the full benefits have not been felt yet. We are taking this very seriously but we cannot just flick a switch and make it right.”

Roberts Clark director Jo Roberts says: “I have just put in three claims for compensation with NU. I have problems with at least four out of six cases. We cannot recommend NU life cover at the moment because they are taking two weeks to process it – not good when you are trying to complete a mortgage.”

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