Standard Life has been accused of attempting to take direct business from IFAs through a client letter mailshot.
A letter sent directly to Standard Life customers says they could win an iPad 2 by filling out two pages of personal details.
On the final page, the provider asks the client to fill out the name and address of their financial adviser. Beneath this it says, “If you no longer deal with an adviser, please tick this box.”
Standard Life says if the customer ticks the box trail commission payments to the IFA will stop. The provider says the payments will not be rebated to the client as they are built into the product.
A spokesman says: “This is an exercise in checking the accuracy of customer records and therefore this information needs to come from the customer.
“In order to meet customer expectations, comply with data protection guidelines and fulfil our provider TCF obligations, we want to ensure the customer information we hold on our records is accurate, up to date and relevant for use now and in the future.
“If a customer updates their records to remove their IFA we will stop the trail commission in accordance with business as usual processes. However if the adviser re-establishes the relationship with them, we will ensure they are added back onto our records.”
Bateman Jarvis managing director Ian Jarvis says: “It would appear that Standard Life are seeking, at the lure of the chance to win an iPad2, to transfer clients to their direct service operations and cut out the IFAs who originally placed the business with them.”