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Providers urged to ensure clients have realistic goals

The Association of British Insurers’ customer impact panel is urging product providers across financial services to do more to ensure that customers have realistic expectations about performance.

The panel, which is headed by former Scottish Widows chief executive Mike Ross, is urging the industry to improve its customer service standards.

The panel advises the ABI on the operation of its customer impact scheme and in a report published last week recommends that the industry should review the way it communicates with customers about the risks and returns associated with products throughout their lifecycle.

The customer impact survey was released in February and found that half of customers who have a complaint are not satisfied with the way it is handled.

It showed that 22 per cent of clients rate their product as poor or fair while 32 per cent rate the return on their investment as poor or fair.

ABI director general Stehen Haddrill says consumers’ disappointment with investment returns is often because of the expectations that they have as a result of the prevailing investment conditions at the time of the purchase.

He says: “One of the messages I take from this is the importance of taking ongoing advice rather than taking advice and going away and not revisiting an adviser. It is vital that individual companies are able to identify areas of weakness and take steps to rectify them.”

The panel is asking member companies to make clear the action they will take and report on this year on year.

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