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.”