Pensions  

Pru dogged by adviser complaints over admin systems

Pru dogged by adviser complaints over admin systems

Prudential has continued to be dogged by financial adviser complaints over its admin systems, with advisers citing an inability to process basic requests and concerns over the General Data Protection Regulation.

In one case, Tim Morris, IFA with Russell & Co, said he has spent more than two weeks trying to sort out a basic top-up to a client's investment with Prudential.

He has blamed the admin processing and said he was "frustrated by the delays".

According to Mr Morris: "The issue stems from when the Pru previously asked me to provide a bank statement for the client for audit purposes.

"I duly complied with their request, even though the money was coming from the same bank account as their previous pension contributions. That was back in March 2019 and all seemed fine thereafter.

"But this year, upon attempting to make a further contribution, we encountered an error with their online system. It was late in the day and I thought this may be a website glitch so would try again the next day.

"The problem persisted so I contacted Prudential to get this resolved. They could not work out the issue so we arranged an online meeting to share my screen."

He said the problem remained unresolved, and had to be referred to another team. Mr Morris said: "I rang them and found them very unhelpful. The person I spoke to seemed to suggest the wrong information had been provided to them.

"This was not the case and it came across they were blaming me for their error." He said he was raising this as an official complaint with Prudential. 

In response, a Prudential spokesman said: "As part of the client verification process, we require further information to be provided. We have been in contact with the adviser and as soon as these details are available, we’ll be in a position to process the top-up.”

When this was put to Mr Morris, he responded: "[Pru] appears to change their process each year and keep asking for further bank account verification. I will send it to them when I have it, yet I'm not happy about the delay and the fact my client could be disadvantaged by it."

His complaint over poor administration is not the only one. As FTAdviser reported in May, the shift to online processes prompted by the pandemic has meant advisers and clients are required to submit an email address when seeking to invest or transfer, and this has proved problematic for those whose older clients do not have such addresses.

The latest adviser expressing concern over the online Isa system is Ben Walters, founder of Portland Financial Planning. He said he had been frustrated when attempting to add an elderly client's money into a Prudential Isa, which is now online only. 

He said when he questioned why Prudential is requiring an email address for the client, when most of his clients are elderly people in rural areas with low internet connectivity, he was told by a member of Prudential's admin team to "create one".