View more on these topics

Zurich in pension probe over IRP sales processes

Zurich is facing another pension probe over selling higher-charge policies when stakeholder products could have been more suitable.

The firm claims that it notified the FSA of its concerns over pension sales processes. The regulator is making Zurich review all Allied Dunbar individual retirement plans sold between September 2002 and April 2004 after concerns that salespeople were not adhering to a revised IRP sales process that was introduced in 2002 to combat problems.

Zurich sales advisers were instructed to recommend stakeholder pensions to investors contributing less than £300 a month or £5,000 single premium and not wanting specialist funds.

Zurich is cutting charges on its IRP to resolve the issue rather than transfer clients into stakeholders.

It is removing and rebating its monthly expense deduction where charged and cutting the fund-based charge from 1 to 0.85 per cent, which will bring most in line with stakeholder charges.

Compensation for lost growth on monies paid out in charges will also be added to the policy. The cost of the move to Zurich and the numbers of people affected have not been disclosed.

This is not the first time that Allied Dunbar has had brushes with the regulator. It had to pay out nearly £85m in compensation in 1998 after advising invest-ors in occupational schemes to transfer into its inferior personal pension plans.

Zurich pensions marketing director Richard Taylor says: “We have changed our sales process. There have been no internal disciplinary procedures against sales staff.”

Roberts Clark director Ashley Clark says: “It is a sorry state of affairs, given the current compliance risk environment we all work in and it is amazing that a big provider such as Zurich would have standards in place but no systems in place to monitor them.”

The FSA would not comment on whether the company faces a fine.

Saran Allott-Davey won the third IFA Woman of the Year award last week. Allott-Davey, who runs her own IFA firm, Heron House Financial Management, also won the best communicator award, sponsored by Money Marketing. She has been running fee-based Heron House in South Wales for 10 years. Allott-Davey is pictured here with Women’s IFA Group founder Fiona Price (right) receiving her award at the Wig awards dinner in London’s Docklands.•Picture special, p22

Recommended

NSPCC chief to be FOS chairman

NSPCC chairman Sir Christopher Kelly has been appointed as chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Service. Kelly, a board member of the National Consumer Council and former permanent secretary at the Department of Health, was appointed along with five new non-executive members of the board. They are IFA Roger Sanders, HSBC senior manager Richard Hampton, Consumer […]

Bonanza options at Millfield

Directors and top managers at Millfield have been handed huge share and bonus packages.

Openwork to single-tie to Prudential annuities from launch

Openwork, the revamped Zurich Advice Network, will exlusively sell annuities provided by Prudential from its launch in the second half of the year.This is Pru’s third major annuity single-tie deal following similar arrangements being struck with both Pearl and Thinc Destini.

Firms urged to clear pension shortfalls with loan

Companies with pension sch-emes in deficit should borrow cash to pay off the shortfall now rather than pay the MFR minimum contribution, according to actuarial firm First Actuarial. The firm says merely paying the minimum required each month will be more expensive, allowing the debt to accrue in much the same way as a credit […]

The curious market reaction to Brexit

Written by Mike Riddell29 June 2016 Headlines over the past few days have screamed about record falls in sterling, record low bond yields and massive falls in equity prices. However, if you take a slightly longer view of markets rather than simply the one- or two-day reaction, I think it’s amazing how little markets have […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment