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NU backs India to boost service standards

Norwich Union has revealed plans to expand its call centres in India despite its recent decision to move more jobs back to the UK.

Aviva-owned NU rejects accusations it has performed a U-turn and says it is committed to its Indian operations. It says offshoring has played a key role in improvements to service levels which have been criticised in the past.

The group has moved 150 roles to the UK from India since 2005 but plans to expand call-centre staff in India from 6,500 to 7,800 this year.

Spokesman James Evans says: “We are committed to our call centres in India. Customers with queries on Aviva’s reattribution process are going through call centres based in Chennai in India and it is working very well. Since we expanded our operations in India, our service levels have significantly improved.”

Anand Associates financial architect James Brooke says: “From an adviser’s point there are good and bad parts to more offshoring. The good part is that generally there will be somebody available to speak to for more hours of the day. The drawback is that IFAs use a lot of jargon in their dayto-day business and the average Indian may not understand this jargon.”


Trail and retribution

The pressure is also mounting on Paymentshield to reverse its decision to stop paying trail commission to advisers no longer regulated by the FSA.

Key and Thinc in equity release link

Thinc Group has linked-up with Key Retirement Solutions in an equity release referral deal.Thinc’s equity release business will now be referred through the specialist intermediary. Previously, only a handful of Thinc’s advisers were permitted to write equity release business.Key will also support Thinc advisers through its Lifetime Advisory Service training scheme by running a series […]

Repossessions reach six-year high and are set to rise further

Property repossessions rocketed by 65 per cent last year, with 2006 representing a six-year high.The Council of Mortgage Lenders has revealed that repossessions were up from 10,310 in 2005 to 17,000 in 2006. They are expected to rise to 19,000 this year and to 20,000 by 2008 due to higher interest rate expectations.Arrears are also […]

AMI associate director Griffiths quits

Association of Mortgage Intermediaries associate director Rob Griffiths has quit after just a year in the job.Griffiths, who joined from trade newspaper Mortgage Introducer where he was editor, is set to pursue a career back in the media.The AMI board was notified of the decision today, and Griffiths will remain with the trade body for […]

The curse of long-term cash

Trevor Greetham, Head of Multi Asset at Royal London Asset Management, reveals why clients should be seriously concerned when short-term holdings of cash turn into a long-term investment. There is nothing wrong with holding wealth in the form of cash on a short-term basis. For many people capital stability is important and access to ready cash […]


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