search.noResults

search.searching

dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
BUY-TO-LET IS A LONG- TERM PLAY P27


UK IN FOR A ROUGH RIDE P20


SEND US YOUR COMMENTS: FA.LETTERS@ FT.COM


No. 1646 | The Voice of Financial Advisers


Advisers slam Prudential service as a ‘land grab’


by Imogen Tew


Advisers have accused Prudential of a “land grab” in its latest digital push after it launched an online service allowing customers to bypass their advisers and withdraw funds from pension pots without advice. The retirement giant emailed advisers at the end of May, announcing it was launching a “guided cash out service” for customers using a Prudential retirement account. According to Prudential’s website, the service, which allows all customers including clients of IFAs to withdraw cash from their account without speaking to an adviser first, is designed to “help [consumers] considering taking money out of their account”. But advisers said the move


feels more like “a client grab” than better customer service. Mike Jordan, IFA at Jordan Financial Management, said: “[Prudential is] expanding the online access clients have; it is no longer just a valuation but instead creates decision trees so clients can make decisions without advice or their adviser. “I feel this is an attempt to


bypass IFAs and perform a client grab. These are clients we have introduced to Prudential to use PruFund, and [it is] not honouring the basis of the relationship by now trying to bypass the adviser, at the risk of client detriment.” Mr Jordan said the


Prudential website offered his clients five alternatives to using their IFA, adding he was “extremely unhappy about this”, and that it “trampled over the IFA relationship without any regard for the advisers”. Dave Penny, managing


director at Invest Southwest, said it was “wholly inappropriate” for a provider to


be targeting clients for risky procedures such as fund withdrawal. He added: “It is a land grab


by Prudential, and one which could be very damaging to the best interests of our mutual clients”. Prudential said it would


“strongly recommend that advised clients speak to their adviser before making any changes to their savings”.


A wider problem Some advisers said the move is another example of a “worrying trend” of providers not treating the adviser as their client, instead looking beyond the IFA to the end consumer. Julian Pruggmayer, owner of Financial Services Risk Management, said “all life companies are doing it”, while Alan Lakey, director at Highclere Financial, said: “This confirms the worrying trend of companies wanting their cake and wanting to gulp it down.” Their comments were echoed


by those of Scott Gallacher, director at Rowley Turton, who said: “It’s what all providers do at some point. It’s a grab for the client. “How difficult would it be for


Pru to separate its advised clients, offer the new service to them but have a link or mention of their adviser in the process?” The concerns come at a time


when advisers said they were battling declining level of service generally, leaving them scrambling for answers from “faceless companies”, which often resulted in frustrated clients and lengthy delays.


Too complex Other advisers said they had concerns about the tax implications of pension withdrawals, claiming it was not the sort of action to take without proper advice.


A spokesperson for


Prudential UK said: “The online service gives customers a view of their savings with us and effectively digitises a service that has always been available to them by phone. “It has been developed to highlight the value and importance of taking financial advice, as well as all of the potential implications of not


doing so, to those who insist they want to take money out without speaking to their adviser.” The spokesperson added


Prudential respected the importance of the relationship between the adviser and their client and would “never seek to intervene” in that relationship.


Email: imogen.tew@ft.com


JUNE 25 2020


NEWS P1-18


COMMENT P20-23


IN DEPTH P25-28


BETTER


BUSINESS P29-30


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32