Santander UK has been forced to stop selling and advising on Aviva protection policies in-branch due to concerns over advisers’ lack of product knowledge.
In its interim results, published last week, Aviva announced extensions to its distribution deals with Santander and Barclays.
In August 2010, Aviva signed an exclusive five-year deal with Santander for the distribution of Aviva’s life insurance, critical illness and income protection products through Santander’s UK branches, online and via the telephone.
The agreement came into effect in June but Santander staff are no longer advising on the Aviva protection products and are undergoing a re-training programme.
When a Money Marketing journalist went into Santander’s Oxford Street branch this week and requested information on Aviva’s income protection, life insurance and critical illness policies, she was told that in-branch staff have not been able to provide advice on the products since Thursday last week.
A Santander spokesman says: “Following an initial run of sales over the past week or so, we are providing additional training and this is in keeping with our ongoing training programme for all staff.
“While this additional training is carried out, the products are off sale in-branch, although it is hard to say when this will be completed given the disruption caused by the riots. In the meantime the products are available to customers by phone.”
An Aviva spokeswoman says: “This is a sales issue for Santander and we understand that they want to get the service right for customers.”