Letter to the editor: ‘Naughty’ LV should be upfront on DB transfer fees

Letter to the editor: ‘Naughty’ LV should be upfront on DB transfer fees

I received recently a phone call from a prospective client who was shopping around for advice on a DB transfer.

He explained that he had spoken with LV who quoted him an upfront fee and a subsequent fee if the transfer went ahead. When he asked the lady he spoke with why they charged this way she explained it was to remove ‘market bias’ and to deter him from using other Pension Transfer Specialists who would not give him advice that was in his ‘best interests’.

I explained that I was less than impressed with the attitude and professionalism of LV. Fortunately my customer shared that view and explained that as soon as he challenged the LV adviser, she very quickly changed her tone and attitude, apologising for her comments. My view was that the statements made by LV were "very very naughty". My customer agreed.

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I would politely suggest that if the only way LV can get business is by significantly misleading customers and slagging off professional advisers, who also refer business to them, then it is time for them to pack up.

Such behaviour erodes consumer confidence in the whole advice sector. If they take their regulatory responsibilities seriously, they should report themselves to the regulator, review their recorded conversations with customers and dismiss those advisers who are clearly showing no regard for the regulator's principles of business.

Robert Cook

Pension transfer specialist, Best Pension Annuity

Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex 


LV's Response:

“We record all our conversations and have carefully reviewed the telephone call in question. 

“The customer was referred to LV= from an introducer as the individual was looking for advice on transferring their defined benefit pension scheme. 

“As we explained to the individual, we have a non-contingent pricing model for this type of advice, where an up-front initial fee is charged to provide advice on whether or not a transfer is a suitable option. 

“We have chosen the model of non-contingent charging for DB to DC transfer advice to reflect what many in the industry see as good practice. 

“We have reviewed this phone conversation and our adviser made no comment about the broader adviser market. We do not believe the individual was misled about our services, the costs of our services, or the wider advice industry. 

“Advisers are integral to our business, as well as providing a vital service for consumers, and we acknowledge their freedom to choose different approaches and business models.”