IFA network members saw business handling levels fall by as much as 39 per
cent over the last year, according to the latest research by Henry Samuels
The overall drop averaged 14 per cent, with private medical insurance
falling by an unprecedented 39 per cent and Isas and mortgage-related
business both plummeting by 18 per cent.
The report follows detailed interviews with 400 IFAs nationwide in April
and March this year.
The research also shows that 57 per cent of network members would seek
direct authorisation on leaving their network compared with just 15 per
cent who said they would join another network.
Product areas bucking the trend of significant downturns in business
levels were other protection products and group pensions, which both fell
by just 2 per cent.
Henry Samuels says: “There has been a general downturn in penetration
levels virtually right across the network sector, suggesting the current
business environment is encouraging members to concentrate their activities
on selected classes only.”
But networks are hitting back at the findings. DBS spokeswoman Sue Lewis
says: “Isa sales are down generally because of fear of investment in the
current climate and mortgage endowment sales are down because of the scare.
“But group personal pensions will have increased due to stakeholder and I
am surprised that PMI business has fallen.”