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&#39Banks will clean up with Sandler products&#39

General practice IFAs targeting the middle market have two years to sort out their businesses before they start facing serious competition from highstreet banks selling Sandler&#39s new products, accor-ding to Clerical Medical.

Head of intermediary strategic planning David Shelton says banks and building societies will have an advantage because they will be able to market the stakeholder products as “simple, streamlined, cheap and Government-approved”, all qualities which will appeal to consumers.

He warns IFAs that despite the misgivings many people in the industry have about the products, they will be a success when they are sold through high-street distributors.

Consumers may believe the advice they are getting from banks is free whereas they will be aware that they are paying for it from an IFA firm, which Shelton says is another possible advantage in favour of banks.

General practice IFAs will have to consider whe-ther they will be able to continue offering their clients a value-added service or move away from the middle ground to target specialist areas.

Shelton says: “Within two years, the Sandler products will be in the market. I think IFAs need to think very hard about where they will compete in the marketplace. They will have to assume that high-street banks will succeed in selling Sandler&#39s products.”

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