Millions of people who have saved their money are facing lengthy delays when it comes to accessing Isas retirement funds and life cover due to the brink of a customer service breakdown facing the insurance industry. Many are facing spending hours on hold only to be followed by month long waits for their money to be paid out.
The chief executive for one of Britain’s biggest insures, Scottish Widows, talks of his regret over the poor service levels that have occurred at his firm in the past months. He also says that other providers are struggling with the same problems.
With two million pension customers, Scottish Widows is admitting that they are reaching their “breaking point.” Strauss places the blame on pension freedoms that were announced in March for the extreme increase of calls coming to the company. He says that both the systems and the staff have been unable to cope.
He has previously said, “It has been an unprecedented three years in the pensions world-with a roller coaster of changes.
“In the absence of any breathing space, we have many concerns that the industry is in danger of reaching, and in fact breaking, the capacity to cope. Many of out own processes have struggled in the wake of the ongoing changes and as a result our service levels are in some areas falling short of the high standards out customers expect of us.”
He has asked the government for a moratorium on new pension laws. This would allow the industry time to “develop new processes and systems” and to employ more staff. Strauss has set aside $20,000,000 to be used to upgrade computer systems, start training the programmes and to increase the staffing at call centers.