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N&P branch advisers will transfer to Aviva

Norwich & Peterborough Building Society has signed a deal to transfer its 21 branch-based advisers to Aviva.

The advisers will become Aviva employees and will be transferred under transfer of undertakings (protection of employment) regulations, giving them an ongoing guarantee of employment.

The transfer is effective from March 16 and follows a review of N&P’s branch-based financial advice service.

N&P head of retail operations Mike Sketch says the society made the decision due to the rising cost of providing advice to retail customers after the RDR.

He says: “There will be wideranging and fundamental changes to the provision of financial advice coming out of the RDR.

It was prudent for us to look at the way we provide financial advice to our customers in light of the expected increase in regulation, complexity and cost.”

Aviva has similar introducer agreements in place with Chelsea, Stroud & Swindon, Principality and Coventry building societies.

Liabilities for advice given before the transfer will stay with N&P.

N&P admits it could face liabilities of £50m over its advice to thousands of clients to invest in Keydata products. It is also facing a class action of up to 400 Financial Ombudsman Service complaints over Keydata.

N&P’s advisers were tied to Norwich Union before becoming IFAs in 2003.

Aviva UK Life distribution director Graham Boffey says: “Aviva has a strong partnerships distribution model and this deal builds on our distribution reach in a market in which we have considerable experience. Aviva remains committed to a broad distribution strategy and is well positioned for the changes arising from the RDR.”

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  1. Will the FSA treat them the same way as they did Park Row people?

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