View more on these topics

Small firms have higher standards

Two items in the October 25 issue of Money Marketing have prompted me to write. The first is Lorna Bourke&#39s article in which she discusses the ABI Raising Standards initiative.

Our company is very concerned that Norwich Union has been accredited.

One of the elements of the award is promptness in dealing with complaints. In the year since NU took over CGU the standard of customer service has gone steadily downhill.

I am still waiting for resolution of a complaint (the second in six months) dealing with policy documents that should have been issued nine months ago. I have four outstanding cases that have been waiting for policy documents for over a month.

It now transpires that NU has a backlog of 30,000 items of work – so no hope of a swift resolution to my complaint.

The second item is the letter from Gavin Anderson where he comments about the state of the phone systems of our major companies.

We could all go on at length about it but our company has started invoicing insurance companies for delay and extra work involved. As a small IFA, this seems to be the only redress we have.

The root of the problem seems to be the ubiquitous call centre. The people you can talk to cannot answer your query. The people who can answer (the admin team) are not allowed to talk to you.

One query I have been trying to resolve with the gloriously inefficient Royal London (who took over the even more inefficient United Friendly) has taken over 20 phone calls, many of them over 30 minutes long.

Believe it or not, this company keeps no record of phone calls. So nobody knows I have called before and they never get any closer to dealing with the problem.

The silver lining that Mr Anderson talks about is the smaller companies. What a joy to do business with Liverpool Victoria, where the staff were efficient and courteous and business is swiftly concluded.

Three cheers for the Tunbridge Wells Equitable Friendly Society – quotes received in 24 hours, a consultant who phones to thank us for the business, and policy documents within three days.

It is companies like these that should be accredited by the PPIAB and held up as a shining example to NU and other companies like them.

Beatrice Dixon

Office Manager, Broadway Financial Services, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex


137,000 firms still failing to comply with stakeholder

The ABI says a “special effort” will be needed to get the estimated 137,000 remaining employers yet to designate a stakeholder scheme to comply with legislation.The estimates, based on its figures to the end of Sept-ember, suggest that between 87,758 and 137,758 employers were not complying with stakeholder legislation requiring them to designate a scheme […]

Jupiter may take legal action over Brunswick &#39dirty tricks&#39

Jupiter is considering legal action against PR agency Brunswick this week after the firm mailed out an allegedly libellous document concerning the fund manager&#39s balance sheet for 2000.Brunswick, which represents Jupiter&#39s arch-rival New Star, admits to mailing the accounts to newspapers last week but denies Jupiter&#39s allegations that it amounted to a “dirty tricks” campaign.The […]

Standard revamps membership rules

Standard Life is proposing changes to its membership rules, giving one member one vote and changing how directors are elected but increasing the number of members needed to call an EGM.The move follows criticism of Standard over its membership rules after it fought off a demutualisation campaign last year. The last revision of rules took […]

Pathway One – Pathway One VCT

Monday, November 5, 2001.Aim: Growth by investing in established smaller companies.Minimum investment: £2,500.Opening-closing date: November 1, 2001-December 14, 2001.Charges: Annual 3 per cent.Commission: Initial 3 per cent.Tel: 07831 456795.

Investment Forum

Position Portfolios for a Changing China, Accelerating Disruption and More Political Discourse Is China an asset class? Why Investors’ Understanding of China is Changing How is disruption changing the way we invest? Established Ways of Doing Business Are Being Challenged What to Watch: Why politics matters more than ever in 2017 Key takeaways: Despite volatile […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm