Aegon has sent bills to some of its advisers after the platform realised it had been incorrectly overcharging clients.
The platform is now contacting clients. It will refund the clients the overcharged amount directly, and will then recover the excess fee that was paid to the adviser.
In one email sent to an adviser, Aegon said it noticed ‘we have paid your firm an inflated adviser charge in error' and apologised for causing the mistake.
‘This is an Aegon error and we will make contact with our mutual customer to ensure this does not reflect in any way against our adviser firm,’ the email said. ‘In order to put this right for our customers we’re in the process of returning any excessive charges back to their account.'
Aegon will be contacting affected clients directly and will be providing a price comparison to stop them suffering any investment losses because of the overcharged fee. The platform ‘will apply any losses to our customers’ wrappers as soon as we can’, the email said.
In this case Aegon asked the adviser to pay back £878 for its on-going charges which will then be distributed to the firm’s client. The adviser, who did not wish to be named, said he does not use the Aegon platform so was surprised to see the email.
Aegon moved its Cofunds platform to new technology in May this year, which has raised a number of issues for advisers.
In a statement a spokesman for the platform admitted that ‘a small number’ of advisers have been written to about incorrect advice charges.
‘The email was sent after we identified an issue which meant the incorrect adviser charge was applied to a small number of accounts. We have asked advisers to refund the overpayment so it can be applied to the customer’s account and we have identified the source of the error and rectified it,’ the spokesman said.
The latest news about the platform follows last month’s announcement that Aegon’s chief digital officer Richard Denning had resigned. New Model Adviser® revealed last month that national IFA Chase de Vere told its advisers not to recommend Aegon for new clients.