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MS readers bear out story on cold-callers and broker clients…

Mortgage Strategy revealed last week that brokers’ clients were being contacted by call centres encouraging them to switch life insurance products, potentially putting customers at risk…

One of my customers was cold-called and he agreed he needed more life cover. He contacted me to make sure I could do it instead but my prices were higher.

On further checks, the company had reduced its commission to 55 per cent. I managed to get the business only by reducing to 50 per cent.

Brian Melling

…with tales of ‘horrendous’ advice to cancel life cover…

This has happened to us too.

One of my clients cheerfully called me to say they were saving £46 per month on their new policy; it was DTA life only. They’d been ‘advised’ to cancel ‘level life & CIC [critical illness cover]’: horrendous! Luckily they managed to cancel in the cooling-off period.

Another of my colleagues has had clients called as well, even during the clawback period! This MUST stop!

Samantha Cox

…and cold-callers even claiming to be the client’s insurer

I have had a recent run-in with the company in this story.

My client had taken a £125,749 mortgage for 33 years and I sold her a Friends Life mortgage protection plan, with CIC for £125,749 for 33 years and B&C [buildings & contents insurance] with L&G.

Hayden Williams cold-called my client and claimed to be from L&G. It convinced her to take a level term plan for £300,000 (life cover) with £50,000 CIC for 30 years with L&G. My client is a single lady with no dependents.

After I pointed out to my client what the cold-caller had done and she wrote in to complain, it totally ignored her complaint and used it as an opportunity to sell her another policy. I then called it to complain about its actions, and I contacted L&G.

Anthony Coe

Clydesdale fee discount for direct clients draws brokers’ disapproval…

Brokers also had strong views on our revelation that Clydesdale Bank was incentivising customers to go direct…

Discount of fees: it is just an arrangement fee, so why pump it up to discount in the first place? Better to actually focus on good service and low costs rather than market it to give an impression of value.

I hope Clydesdale also suggests it may be better getting a fee-free remortgage with another lender, for completeness and [transparency]. I am sure this is what I will be saying as a broker and it is the only safe way to avoid future complaints.

Adding value to the client service all the time ensures a long-standing, loyal customer base.

Steve

…and reminder to stay engaged with clients by holding regular reviews

Some lenders have always done this so it is really about us brokers staying engaged with our clients.

I find a lot of times that my clients actually contact me before I call them, and ask me when I’m going to do their review. This is because I try to have some sort of contact with my clients at least four times
a year. It’s not rocket science and it works!

When I set up my firm a very valuable business adviser told me: “If you look after your existing clients, they look after you”.

Karen Guler

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