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&#39Industry must consider impact of multi-tying on consumers&#39

Liverpool Victoria is warning that the industry must put the interests of consumers above their own balance sheets when considering multi-ties.

The mutual life office, which has an IFA arm, is bullish about keeping its intermediary offering for consumers independent.

Group director (sales) Mike Newton says Liverpool Victoria is consulting with members about offering a multi-tied arm after depolarisation but so far members are not demanding a limited panel.

He believes firms must think about the impact that multi-ties will have on consumers rather than the impact they will have on balance sheets. Newton says he is not sure that offering a halfway house will do any good for consumers.

His comments come as Bradford & Bingley starts to divest itself of its IFAs, selling Charcol Holden Meehan and Charcol Aitchison & Colegrave to John Scott & Partners last week in preparation for a fully multi-tied offering.

Newton expects at least 30 per cent of the current IFA market to move from a whole-of-market proposition to a multi-tie offering, especially in protection. He says: “None of our customers have come to us and said they want to be served by a limited panel. As a result, because we are a members&#39 organisation, we are consulting via our affinity group to see whether multi-tie is the way to go. But so far our customers are not screaming out for a limited panel.

“The industry needs to think about the impact that multi-tying will have on consumers rather than the impact it will have on its balance sheets.”

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