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Aegon pledges to clear Cofunds backlog in six weeks

Aegon UK chief executive Adrian Grace has said the volume of calls it received on the day of the Cofunds switchover exceeded its 'worst nightmare'.

Aegon pledges to clear Cofunds backlog in six weeks

Aegon will have cleared the backlog of problems created by its platform technology switchover in the next six weeks, its UK chief executive Adrian Grace has said.

The platform has been dealing with complaints from advisers ever since it moved 400,000 retail clients on the Cofunds platform to new technology in May. Aegon has struggled with customer service, with advisers citing long waiting times to speak to people who could resolve their platform issues.

Grace (pictured) revealed that on the first day of the new technology coming into place the number of calls to Aegon's call centre rose from 2,000 to 9,000. 

'Not even in our worst nightmare did we envisage that type of volume coming through at that pace,' he said.

'As you don't get to the call volumes, you develop a backlog, and we had to throw a lot of resource at it to deal with it. Particularly on the trading side.'

He explained the problems emerged because the company did not put an 'overflow mechanism' in place when testing the new technology. 'As we were swamped with calls we just couldn't cope,' he added. 

However, Grace said he expected the backlog to be dealt with in the coming weeks. 'We're coming through. It will probably take another month to six weeks to get to where I want it to be.'

According to Grace, Aegon will compensate advisers if they have had to do additional work as a result of the asset migration. 

'If clients have missed out because we missed out on a particular trade or something else went wrong, we will compensate and put clients back in the position they came from,' he said.

Aegon spent £3 million on fixing the platform problems in the first half of the year, but Grace said he was confident extra costs from compensation would not affect the company as the year continues. 

'We will see how it develops in the second half. I don't have a clear view on that, but from a materiality view in terms of Aegon UK I don't think it will affect us. We have capital reserves of £2 billion.'

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