Embark  

Embark letter to client labelled 'misleading'

Embark letter to client labelled 'misleading'

The wording on Embark’s standard letters sent to clients has been labelled as ‘misleading’, causing worry for the client.

Some advisers have taken to Twitter stating the platform’s levels of service were “poor” with long waiting times.

Neil Liversidge, of West Riding Personal Financial Solutions, said Embark letter’s created confusion for the client after he recently transferred a client from Embark to Fidelity.  

The letter from the provider was titled ‘cash withdrawal notice’ and referred to the transaction as a withdrawal - even though the money was not being withdrawn but was being transferred.

It also said withdrawals from the personal pension were subject to income tax. 

The letter also said the money would be paid into the client’s bank account rather than be transferred to another self-invested personal pension provider - in this case Fidelity as per the request.

Commenting on the letter, Liversidge said: “Either Embark’s standard letter has been compiled with no thought whatsoever as to how clients will interpret it, or it is deliberately intended to alarm clients and to cause advisers extra work.”

 

Last year, Lloyds bought the Embark business and its subsidiary brands, which includes the adviser platform but not the Rowanmoor business, in a deal worth £390m.

The deal followed Embark's acquisition of the Zurich and the adviser platform business of Alliance Trust Savings from Interactive Investor in 2019.

At the time, advisers said they were hopeful the takeover of Embark and its adviser platform by Lloyds Banking Group would improve service levels.

Peter Docherty, chief executive of the Embark Platform, said: “As we’ve grown the Embark business over the last few years we’ve been recognised for our strong service levels, which is reflected in our position as one of the largest pension platforms in the UK and trusted by a growing number of IFAs and partners. 

“But, that doesn't mean we get it right all of the time, and so we welcome all feedback to help us constantly improve. We are investing in technology, in people and in our service capability generally as we continue to grow, because we want the best for our existing and future relationships.”

sonia.rach@ft.com

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