Lender to look into GI blackmail claim

Abbey has launched an investigation into accusations that its BDMs are blackmailing brokers into using its general insurance.

A broker, who asked to remain an-onymous and is new to the industry, alleges that an Abbey BDM threatened to relegate his applications to the bottom of the pile if he did not use its accompanying GI proposition.

He says that when he told the BDM that he was required to use his network’s insurance panel, he was told his applications would be dealt with after those using Abbey insurance.

The broker says: “The Abbey BDM explained that BDMs would have to spend time away from their desks to sell GI deals, making up for any shortfalls in sales thanks to brokers opting out of Abbey’s GI.

“Since the meeting, I have tried to put several applications through and have encountered nothing but delays. Every enquiry I have made has taken 24 to 36 hours to get a reply. I don’t want to believe I have been earmarked but I can’t see any other reason why my cases are not being dealt with.”

The source adds: “My network – and some directly authorised firms I know – say this is not an isolated case. This sort of behaviour is not fair to my customers and it is only going to take business away from Abbey if it continues.”

A spokesman for Abbey says: “It is not Abbey’s policy to treat its customers in this way. We have strict procedures in place to ensure all brokers’ cases get an equal amount of attention when applications are made.

“We have been experiencing high demand for our products recently, which might account for some slight delays, but we will be launching an investigation to see what truth there is in these claims.”