Aegon says platform service back on track

Aegon says platform service back on track

Aegon's chief executive has said its platform's service has returned to "target levels" after a year of disruption caused by the Cofunds migration.

In May the provider migrated Cofunds retail clients onto its new Aegon platform, but this was followed by months of technology glitches, including clients not receiving income payments on time and being unable to sign into the platform.

This morning (February 14) Adrian Grace, chief executive of Aegon UK, said: "Between July and December significant strides were made and resource mobilised to address service issues. By the end of the year core operational services had returned to target levels.

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"The focus now for the Aegon Platform is on ensuring we provide the enhancements that advisers have requested and migrating the Nationwide book of business.

"We are clear on the functionality that needs to be prioritised for the coming months and beyond this have a continual programme of improvements planned for the service."

Mr Grace was speaking as Aegon published its results for the second half of 2018, which showed gross deposits in the UK arm of the Dutch business were down by 31 per cent to €5.9bn (£5.2bn), which drove an 8 per cent fall in gross deposits across the whole company.

In the second half of 2018, assets across Aegon UK’s platform reached £128bn, with total assets under administration of £158.5bn.

Despite the fall in gross deposits, earnings at Aegon UK increased by 24 per cent to £53m, helped by higher fee income due to new business inflows and cost synergies related to the Cofunds integration.

Aegon bought Cofunds from Legal & General in August 2016 for £140m.

Mr Grace said: "This was a strong performance against a backdrop of relatively volatile stock markets, and a slowdown in the defined benefit transfer market and reflects both the diversified nature of Aegon’s business and a consistent strategy in our core markets.

"As an intermediated business, our focus is firmly on supporting the needs of advisers and their individual and employer clients, by providing pensions, investments and protection products through our digital platform services."