Culling seals

I  have a new phrase in my vocabulary which relates to the activities of financial institutions that take advantage of the inertia of customers.

I cannot tell you about the context in which I learned about this phrase as I am bound by the Promethean chains imposed by Chatham House Rules, I think Chatham House rules were invented by financial services providers to stop us discussing their outrageous practices.

I’m quite sure, judging by the number of times I was reminded that Chatham House rules applied, that I am not supposed to be talking about seal culling. In fact I get the impression that insurance companies would like me to be buried in the deepest oubliette in the darkest cellar of this Chatham House.

Seal culling;- the practice among financial institutions of providing sub-standard products to existing customers rather than treating them fairly and ensuring they are made properly aware of alternatives.

Have you been culled? To answer that question you need to have a degree of awareness of what you’ve bought and in retrospect, the reason you bought a sub-standard product.

If you are a pensioner, you may well have bought an annuity from an insurance company. You may have bought wisely, used the Open Market Option or better still considered all the retirement income options available to you.

More likely, you didn’t and if you took the annuity offered as the default option from the insurer who ran your pension plan, you may have been that seal.

I’m not ambulance chasing here, though I hear the sirens getting closer. The more that insurers and their trade body the ABI get angry when I mention these things, the more I fear a seal cull  has occurred.

And the good news – well I met some great people at the event that Chatham House requires me to keep quiet about. And I discovered a whole load of financial products I didn’t previously understand. Oh and I finally understand what this Pension Passport that my friend @pensionsmonkey keeps on gibbering about and I met the bloke who started PICA.

But all this is unimportant relative to the fact that as I sit on Lady Lucy in the sunshine of the Hurley Mill Pond, a kingfisher has just skimmed onto the capstan of my boat and shimmered off again a thing of beauty that banishes my dark thoughts and awakes me to the opportunities of a day on the river floating up and down the long reaches to Henley.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen, Director of First Actuarial, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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