CompaniesMar 7 2012

Co-op offers compensation to ex-IFA arm’s customers

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ByEmma Ann Hughes

Co-op has confirmed that it has sent out letters to 1,800 customers offering redress over pension switching advice given by its former IFA arm, Co-operative Independent Financial Advisers.

A spokesman for Co-op said: “As a responsible financial services organisation and in light of wider industry findings, the Bank also reviewed the advice provided by advisers to customers on other investment products, to ensure all customers had been provided with an appropriate level of advice.

“As a result of these reviews we have identified cases where the advice provided to customers may not have met the high standards that we strive to offer.

“As a result letters have been sent to these customers to apologise and offer redress payment where appropriate to ensure that there is no adverse effect on their pension or investment.

“The Bank prides itself on the levels of service and advice it offers to its customers, and we would like to apologise to affected customers about this situation, where the level of advice offered fell short of the standards that the Bank and our customers expect.”

Ashcourt Rowan paid Co-op £450,000 in cash for all of Cifa’s trail commission receipts in September 2010.

Cifa’s financial advisers, sales managers and support staff transferred to Ashcourt Rowan following completion of the agreement on 1 October 2010, together with Cifa’s client database and trail commission.

Cifa has been established for more than 20 years and at the time of the sale had about 55,000 customers, with funds invested of about £1bn.

It employed 52 financial advisers and additional associated sales managers and support staff with most of the financial advisers operating in north-east and north-west England.