Aegon says major platform problems are fixed

Aegon says major platform problems are fixed

The bulk of adviser servicing has returned to normal on the Aegon platform, months after the platform was hit with multiple technology problems following its migration with Cofunds in May.

In an update published today (18 September) the provider stated calls are now being answered within normal waiting times, illustrations are being produced on time and money in and money out requests are processing as normal.

The platform conceded there was still work to be done to ensure a smooth service for all but said its focus now was on working through complaints and providing quicker responses to email requests for information.

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In addition, Aegon said a number enhancements had been made to the platform in the past few months, including facilitating Isa new business and switches online, and that a fuller programme of platform developments and enhancements was now underway. 

This will cover outstanding problems, missing online journeys and other features based on feedback from advisers.

It comes as the firm met with its advisory board, the group of firms established to inform its platform development, last week to update them on the progress made.

Aegon's chief distribution officer Ronnie Taylor said: "We very much appreciated the time and input from the advisory board last week.  

"While the meeting was challenging, it was also extremely constructive and has confirmed the clear path we need to follow over the next few months.  

"There is still much for us to do, particularly around operational improvements and proposition enhancements, to get back to delivering the service our advisers and their clients deserve. We are completely focused on achieving this."

Aegon had faced a litany of problems after it merged its inhouse platform with Cofunds, the platform bought for £140m in 2016, over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

It later promised to put advisers who lost money as a result of the issues back in the position they would have been in had the platform not failed, with UK chief executive Adrian Grace saying in August his firm had "very deep pockets" to put things right.

Aegon has now told the advisory board that it has identified the customers impacted by servicing issues and had begun a process of compensating them for the delays to their trading instructions.

The business had deployed more than 200 additional people towards improving service levels and said it had a "clear plan" to fix the remaining problems.

In its latest half year results Aegon said the replatforming cost it £3m more than expected in the first half of the year, with Mr Grace saying the bill for the rest of the year would be higher than £3m "but not in the tens of millions".

Paul Stocks, financial services director at Dobson & Hodge, does not have clients on Aegon's platforms but said: "As a firm, we are facing significant costs as a result of poor provider and third party administration cropping up time and again."