The agreement between Slater & Gordon’s professional services division (PSD) and the country’s biggest high street insurance broker has come to an end just months after it signed a multi-year renewal.
In December 2014, Quindell – as the then owner of the PSD – said that the agreement with Swinton, which has more than 1.2m motor policy holders, meant it would continue to handle all aspects of the motor claims process for Swinton, including accident management, hire, repair services, legal services and rehabilitation.
But in an announcement today to the Australian Stock Exchange, Quindell reported that last Friday the agreement was ended with effect from midnight on 31 October 2015.
“The PSD has been providing first notification of loss services to Swinton, a leading UK insurance broker, and legal and complementary services to not-at-fault Swinton customers since December 2012. The impact of the end of the agreement is not expected to be material to FY16 earnings, but Slater and Gordon has elected in the current circumstances, to make this announcement nevertheless.”
However, while the impact may not be material to the group as a whole, the agreement was an important one for the PSD.
In April 2014, when the original Swinton agreement was extended for a year, Quindell described the contract as “material” to its revenues and one of the largest signed to date.
“This extension follows a first year where a significantly improved customer journey was achieved compared to industry norms and to that experienced from previous partners,” it said.
In December, Steve Chelton, Swinton’s head of claims, said: “Quindell continues to exceed expectations in all aspects of their service throughout the supply chain and we look forward to continuing this relationship.”
A spokesman for Swinton said: “We are aware of Slater & Gordon’s announcement to the Australian stock market today. For contractual reasons, we cannot comment any further at this stage.”
The announcement saw Slater & Gordon’s shares drop 3.5%, but that follows the fall of more than half in recent weeks in the wake of the Financial Conduct Authority’s probe into Quindell’s historic accounting practices, and an investigation in Australia into issues with its own accounts.