AegonJun 18 2018

Aegon scrambles staff to deal with adviser problems

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Aegon scrambles staff to deal with adviser problems

Aegon has issued a “sincere apology” to advisers using its platform, and said it has increased the number of staff it employs to deal with the issues.

As FTAdviser has previously reported, advisers using Aegon's online investment service have reported a wide variety of very serious problems since the company commenced its long-planned integration with the Cofunds platform it acquired in 2017.

Several advisers reported poor customer service and said clients have suffered financial loss as a result of the issues.

Aegon has said it will compensate those who have lost money.

In a statement this morning (18 June) Mark Till, managing director of Digital Solutions at Aegon, said: “We have written to all advisers who have used the newly upgraded Cofunds platform. Despite client data being migrated successfully, trades being placed and adviser charges paid, we fully acknowledge that the service has been below the standard advisers expect.

“Alongside a sincere apology, we have assured advisers that we are utterly focused on ensuring administration issues are resolved as quickly as possible.

“We have put in place a substantial increase in staff to process outstanding items and we are actively re-working our phone contact to improve access."

Aegon has increased the number of staff in its operations team dealing with the platform issues by a further 200 by redeploying current employees from other parts of the business, the stated said.

“The delays are not what advisers should expect of us, and the drop in service is completely at odds with our commitment to deliver. I can assure advisers we are fully focused on ensuring these administration issues are resolved to deliver a more robust service in the future,” Mr Till added.

Sam Caunt, an adviser at Morae Financial Planning in Northampton, said the apology is overdue.

"I agree with the sentiment expressed in the apology. It will take time for Aegon to address the problem, we're not going to see an improvement in the service straight away.

"But I have noticed that our contact at Aegon is more proactive, we are no longer having to chase them. Aegon has promised more staff, but it will take them two or three weeks to get them trained up, so it is early days, and I am sure they are doing everything they can.”