Prudential accused of ‘client grab’

Mark Hale, an adviser at Sandycross Wealth Management, said: “It’s not a good idea for clients to do their own taxable pension withdrawals without advice due to the complexities of the tax system and the effect on the sustainability of their funds.”

But other advisers were less worried. Andrew Oliver, of Andrew Oliver and Co, said: “Personally if a client chose to do it themselves rather than pay me a fee, then either I have not sold the value of my involvement sufficiently or I am happy for them to do so.”

Ian Porter, director at Roberts Clifford Wealth Management, said although he was concerned it was being made available to advised clients, the actual guidance engine produced by Prudential was “comprehensive” and did “ask the right questions” around the client’s circumstances.

A spokesperson for Prudential UK said: “The online service gives customers a view of their savings with us and effectively digitises a service that has always been available to them by phone.

“It has been developed to highlight the value and importance of taking financial advice, as well as all of the potential implications of not doing so, to those who insist they want to take money out without speaking to their adviser.”

The spokesperson added Prudential respected the importance of the relationship between the adviser and their client and would “never seek to intervene” in that relationship.

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