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NU chief’s apology to IFAs over service

Norwich Union chief executive Gary Withers has issued a personal apology to advisers for the company’s significant slip in service standards this year.

Letters are being sent out to 35,000 advisers around the UK to apologise for and explain why service levels in protection and investment bond application procedures started to slide significantly, particularly this summer.

Withers promises to cut backlogs in NU’s underwriting operations and cut the time taken to underwrite cases and has set up a team of 30 staff dedicated to sorting out the problem.

NU is also pledging a full review of its application pro-cedures in order to find simple and faster ways of processing business.

A study by Life Policies Direct found NU to be the slowest at issuing acceptance of terms for life and critical-illness cover applications. The fastest application took 11 days to turn around while NU’s took 40 days.

Withers says: “We genuinely regret the inconvenience that we have caused to advisers. This is not our proudest moment and I am not pleased at the time it has taken to recover from the problems. I have taken action internally and we are looking hard at our processes.”

Life Policies Direct man-aging director Jason King says: “There was a period where Norwich Union not only would not address their problems but would not even acknowledge that their problems exis-ted. But communication is a lot better now and things look like they are turning in the right direction.”


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Syndicate buys Chartwell Group

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Winterthur offers online fund service for advisers

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Ghiloni makes return in broker sales at the Pru

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