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Nothing NU about admin standards

My last words to one of our clients as I left a recent meeting were: “Now don’t forget, Mr Client, we chose Norwich Union for the commercial property investment part of your portfolio because of the fund’s strength and performance. Please remember that Norwich Union’s administration is usually appalling and we can expect them to lose your cheque/application at least once, ha, ha.”

Now I know why my late grandmother (God bless her) always used to say, don’t joke about something, it might come true.

The previous case we had placed with NU was submitted online so they could not lose it but they still managed to lose the signed electronic declaration between their regional and head office. This time, we again submitted the bond application online.

The result was that NU wrote to the client on three separate occasions, stating: “We have been advised that we have some incorrect information in the proposal data previously received.”

The very next line reads “We have now amended the details and attached a revised confirmation form for your information.”

As the information keyed online was 100 per cent correct and neither ourselves nor the client contacted NU at any point, who told them they had incorrect information?

And more concerning, who gave them the “new correct” information? Have NU chosen to opt out of data protection, confidentiality, utmost good faith and all those things we hold dear? No surprise that the client cancelled their investment.

I can only assume that NU’s appalling service standards has led to them “correcting” non-existent errors to improve their “clean-up rates”.

I am sure that we would all urge them to sort out their admin service but know it would fall on death ears.

The only way that NU will get the message is when we stop submitting business to them. Maybe IFAs are now making this decision as the recent slump in their pension sales figures seems to support this theory.

Paul Smith Managing director, Provident Solutions, Leicester

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