Prudential IGC’s report starts with a typo.
I know that headlines can get overlooked by proof readers but this one is a serious embarrassment for the Prudential and their IGC. It does not bode well for what’s to come.
The VFM assessment is also unsatisfactory. What does amber mean in this context?
You have to dive into the main report (p 25) to get an answer to that question
It’s a sloppy start which is a shame as this is an intelligent and sophisticated IGC report.
A proper analysis of member outcomes
For instance the fund analysis by Mary Kerrigan of the Pru’s flagship default
The IGC gets a clear illustration in graphic format, of what Mary is saying (compare with the graphs on the Hargreaves Lansdown report)
The Prudential in 2023 started ripping this fund out and replacing it with a passive default.
It may be beating other funds in its peer group but it is not providing the absolute return of CPI +3.
We are told that the amber rating given to the investments was because of where the fund analysis took the IGC
Can’t we see the results of this analysis? Why is the clear intelligence of the assessment, denied us? There is much here which I would like to understand.
There was a dialogue between the IGC and the Prudential that looks forward to the Mansion House reforms. This is the only mention I have seen in any IGC report of a more ambitious investment strategy being adopted.
So – after a bad start, the IGC report soon recovers we’ve come to expect from the Prudential’s high quality IGC.
What about the member experience?
There follow uncontentious reports on ESG and communications before the IGC deals with the serious train crash which is the Prudential’s customer experience.
The Prudential’s is a classic case of accountants dictating the customer service , it ignores the wider picture in exchange for a short-term boost to profitability. The Prudential’s reputation has, is and should be damaged for its under-investment in customer-support.
Some of these numbers look quite positive till you look at the SLAs themselves. Should a 154 day SLA to deal with a bereavement be acceptable?
Leaving customers waiting on phone call nearly 8 minutes is awful, but a target of over 2 minutes shows just how little the customer experience matters.
Why should a “target” to pay a claim be 43 days and what is “customer service” to have a target of being dealt with in 6 weeks.
I would like to hear from the Chair about what he considers the root cause of this customer service meltdown is and what has changed which gives him the optimism that things will improve.
Verdict on the report
Prudential IGC reports have always been sophisticated and thorough. Bruce Rigby, the Chair, continues the work of his predecessor and stomachs no excuses from the Prudential. The interaction with the Prudential looks intelligent and positive, the IGC seems on top of the issues, despite the issues being huge.
I am comfortable that the IGC is doing an effective job and give them a green for that
I am comfortable that they have challenged the Prudential over giving value for money and give them a green for that.
But I think the report as a whole, lacks the detailed content that it promises and it falls short of being the excellent read it should be as a result. I hope next year it will have appendices that show the working! I give it an amber for now for tone and content