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Cofunds complications and PI problems: week in news

Cofunds complications and PI problems: week in news

This week a report recommended taxing pensioners to give millennials £10,000 each to help them onto the housing ladder. Well, that or they can use it to buy several tonnes of avocado.

Something that will not cost you £10,000 is catching up on what has been happening this week. It is time for the week in news.

1) Deja vu all over again

What is it about massive technology projects that makes them destined to go wrong in some way?

Just a few months after reassuring us that its upgrade of the Cofunds platform would not descend into the sort of debacles that had blighted Aviva, Aegon has been facing its own problems.

The provider completed the technology upgrade of Cofunds' retail book of customers this week, with more than 400,000 users and £37bn of assets moved to the Aegon Platform over the Bank Holiday.

But since then Aegon has acknowledged teething problems with its new platform but added most of the services are working properly - though some advisers were struggling to activate their account, leading to high levels of demand on Aegon's contact centre as advisers call in for support.

It is a good thing there aren't other companies going through replatforming processes - Hello, Old Mutual Wealth. Meanwhile Standard Life has revealed plans to upgrade its existing two platforms. Hopefully not here we go again?

2) Handbags at dawn

Who says customers - or at least their assets - aren't valued? Standard Life Aberdeen has formally challenged the right of Scottish Widows to pull £109bn of assets from the company.

Scottish Widows informed Aberdeen Standard Investments in February that it was withdrawing the assets because the merger between Aberdeen and Standard Life turned the company into a competitor to Scottish Widows.

But Standard Life Aberdeen said it was challenging the right of Scottish Widows to terminate its investment management agreement as its investment arm was not a material competitor.

Scottish Widows responded by saying it was "confident" it had the legal right to terminate its investment management agreement with Standard Life Aberdeen.

All of which leaves the savers who actually own the assets stuck in the middle between two bickering companies.

3) Making a Jes of it

Is there a more epic fail than Jes Staley's attempt to identify a whistleblower at the bank in 2016?

After being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority, the chief executive of Barclays has now found himself fined £642,430 after he tried to find out who had written a letter which contained various allegations, some of which concerned Mr Staley himself.

In addition to the fine, Barclays has been subjected to special requirements which mean it must report annually on how it handles whistleblowing, with personal attestations from those senior managers responsible for the relevant systems and controls.

The regulator found Mr Staley's actions to be a breach of the requirement to act with due skill, care and diligence but not a breach of the requirement to act with integrity.