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Standard is slammed for contacting adviser clients

Standard Life has come under fire from advisers who feel they are being undermined because the firm is sending their clients information on with-profits directly.

But Standard is defending its position, saying it told advisers last December that it would be sending a letter of declaration and two new brochures to clients about the benefits of remaining in a with-profits policy.

The firm says following research last year, it found that consumers largely lacked the knowledge to decide whether to switch out of or retain their with-profits policies. Standard says that in the spirit of treating customers fairly and in a bid to stamp out unnecessary churning, it wanted to give clients better information.

It says many clients were unaware that they would be giving up a 4 per cent guarantee by transferring out.

However, advisers say they are being bypassed, with Standard contacting their clients directly, which they say undermines their position.

Standard spokesman Peter Timberlake says: “We wrote to all advisers telling them this is what the process would be and we also spoke to Aifa who praised the material and it informed all its members. They cannot say they were not aware.”

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