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Scot Wids to re-enter IFA annuity market and exit offshore bonds

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Scottish Widows has confirmed plans to re-enter the IFA annuity and protection markets following a strategic review of the provider’s intermediary strategy.

Widows has also decided to exit the offshore bond market as it is no longer “core” to the firm’s investment offering. Following the decision, Clerical Medical International will close to new business from March 30.

Lloyds Banking Group director of insurance Toby Strauss says: “The IFA market is a core channel for us and we will be working closely with IFAs to ensure we not only create a new and enhanced product offering but also deliver these in a way that caters for their needs in what is a rapidly changing market.

“We are committed to providing customers with products that reflect their changing needs and with people living longer and rapid growth in demand for annuities we feel this is the right time to signal our move into this market.

“And with a protection gap in excess of £2trn, there is already a substantial customer need for life assurance in the UK. Our existing expertise in life assurance through other channels means that we can utilise this to develop a compelling protection offering that will be specifically designed for the IFA market.”

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Readers' comments (10)

  • This is excellent news for Widow's policyholders who do not understand the OMO and will now get an extra 15% income by default.

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  • This lot have been in and out of the IFA market more times than the hokey kokey (apologies for the spelling). If I can avoid using them I will. My client rings them up and asks for an annuity quote from the funds that I introduced to them. "Certainly sir. We can do that and we won't copy your adviser in." Result; a bog standard annuity for someone with long term health issues. They should be ashamed.

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  • Richard, good of you to look after your client so well and then seek to blame the lifeco for offering their product when asked.

    The shame may lie elsewhere. Try the mirror if you're not sure where

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  • Oh really? Clearly you know little of human behaviour. Have you ever heard of impulse buying? You appear to have read something into my comment without verifying the truth. I'd stick to hiding behind the mask if I was you.

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  • Richard - surely if the client is yours you will have diarised to call the client 2-3 months before retirement and discussed the options, then you would have phoned Scottish Widows and organised the right quotes yourself. Is that not what an adviser should do??

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  • Is Richard an IFA or just an "introducer" as he admits himself.
    No wonder the client jusr went direct.

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  • It is good to have another major player in the annuity market.

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  • no need for more providers in the market. need for more advisers.

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  • I wonder if the fact that commission on protection products will still be available after RDR has any bearing on this?

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  • It was just a matter of time, for Scot Wids/Clerical Med to come out of the offshore market. Life Offices have just been waiting. Being in competition with Cleri Med a few years back......all they did is sell at a loss, with their very low cost offshore bond offering....cheapest is not necessarily the best way for anyone!!

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