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Omo campaign is not a priority for Widows

Scottish Widows admits that implementing the Association of British Insurers’ open market option initiative is not a priority for the firm.

Widows and Zurich are the only firms, of the 16 providers that signed up, not to have implemented Options despite it launching in December. Zurich expects to go live by the third quarter but Widows would not set a date.

A spokeswoman says the insurer intends to “get on board eventually” but she adds: “It is not a priority for us. It is taking longer because we do not have a service standard that needs to improve. We need to make sure it will not be detrimental to our current service.”

The firm claims transfers take an average of seven working days while the average time for Options was eight calendar days in the first quarter.

ABI spokesman Jon French says: “We would like Scottish Widows to go live as soon as possible because, while their procedures may be good, Options is about companies talking to each other.”

Hargreaves Lansdown pensions analyst Nigel Callaghan says: “This sadly speaks volumes about how highly Widows rates its customers’ interests.”


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