Aviva May Halt £4bn NU Reattribution
by Gill Montia
Story link: Aviva May Halt £4bn NU Reattribution
Aviva, the owner of Norwich Union (NU), is rumoured to be opposing plans to free £4 billion of surplus assets held in Norwich Union’s with profits business.
Speculation about the proposed reattribution has been rife since policyholders failed to receive an update on the scheme’s progress; according to Financial Services Authority guidelines, an update should be issued every six months.
Failure to proceed with the reattribution would disappoint 1,100,000 NU policyholders who have been expecting windfalls averaging over £1,000.
It would have further repercussions in the City where analysts have speculated that Aviva would invest part of the surplus in new ventures.
The reattribution process can be complex because shareholders’ expectations have to be held in balance with the interests of policyholders.
Clare Spottiswoode, the former utilities regulator, has been appointed to act on behalf of NU policyholders, taking up her role as advocate last November.
However, negotiations with Aviva began in earnest in June and whilst Aviva’s board will be anxious to avoid public embarrassment, it could still draw a halt to the proceedings.