AvivaJun 27 2018

Aviva accused of shortchanging over platform compensation

Search supported by
Aviva accused of shortchanging over platform compensation

An adviser has received £875 in compensation from Aviva after several of his clients faced disruption in the early parts of the provider's replatforming exercise.

Stephen McDine, an adviser at Newcastle-based Positive Wealth Management, complained to Aviva back in April after he was unable to produce remuneration reports, could not retrieve client valuations and did not receive adviser charges.

He also faced problems allocating Isa funds and long waiting times when calling Aviva for help.

Aviva for Advisers has been haunted by glitches since its replatforming to FNZ technology in January.

The platform was unavailable for six days beginning on the evening of 17 January and just one day after it came back online advisers and their clients found themselves locked out.

Since then there have been problems with processing adviser charges, switching funds, processing income drawdown, facilitating Isa contributions and erroneous alerts sent out indicating huge value drops in client portfolios.

For me it’ is all or nothing from Aviva. They are trying a halfway payment which doesn't satisfy me.Stephen McDine

Aviva has regularly stated it has worked to fix the issues, re-allocated resources to speed up the process and offered compensation to advisers who were hit by the problems with the platform.

Back in April Mr McDine told Aviva he wanted £1,000 in compensation for eight hours of his time spent sorting the problems caused by the replatforming, and for every affected client to be compensated for the disruption and poor customer service surrounding the migration. 

Aviva finally replied to him in June apologising and offering a cheque for £875 as a full and final settlement.

The adviser said: "This doesn't in any way compensate for the amount of extra time and workload and trying to sort things and the commission side, that in total was several hours extra work.

"For me it’ is all or nothing from Aviva. They are trying a halfway payment which doesn't satisfy me."

He said it was unfeasible to move all his clients off the platform at once in retaliation over his treatment at the hands of Aviva but over time, as clients' portfolios are reviewed, Mr McDine said a move to a rival platform may become an option.

Aviva told Mr McDine all compensation claims were assessed in line with regulatory inducement rules.

The provider stated: "To make sure we don't breach these rules, we will only offer compensation where we consider there may be a legal basis for doing so. 

"In this instance, we do not feel it is appropriate to meet your claim in full."

A spokesman for Aviva told Financial Adviser it was still working through other compensation claims received from advisers.

The spokesman for the provider said: "As we have said from the outset, we will ensure that advisers are not financially disadvantaged from any issues they experienced following our platform migration.

"We are taking a number of factors into consideration, and are mindful of the impact on advisers' time and additional work that they have had to undertake. 

"There are regulatory guidelines which apply in this process, and we will review each individual case based on its merits and reach agreement through discussion with advisers."

Financial Adviser learnt there are currently about 20 cases with the Financial Ombudsman Service in relation to the Aviva replatforming issues.