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Pressure is growing on Pru over £9bn estate

Prudential will come under further pressure to free up its £9bn inherited estate after Aviva’s appointment of a policyholder advocate.

The Pru has been looking at ways of accessing the surplus cash from its with-profits fund for 10 years.

Axa was the first insurer to manage a deal in 2001. At the time, over 500 policyholders represented by the Consumers’ Association, took Axa to the High Court over its proposals to distribute the assets using the 90/10 rule. This saw Axa redistribute £250m, taking £225m for itself and paying £25m to consumers, who got an average of £400 each.

The CA claimed this was inadequate but lost its case.

The FSA later changed the rules, which saw the introduction of a policyholder advocate in an effort to make the redistribution a fairer process.

At the time, CA senior pol-icy adviser Mick McAteer said: “Axa would not pay this money out to policyholders unless it was getting a good deal. It is not stupid.”

Both Pru and the FSA refuse to comment on the requirements but many expect Pru to be closely monitoring the situation at Aviva.

A Pru spokesman says: “As previously announced, we believe that it would be beneficial if there were greater clarity as to the status of the inherited estate. As such, we continue to examine the possibility of a reattribution of the inherited estate of our with-profits funds.”

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