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&#39Life office leadership living in the past&#39

The life insurance industry&#39s standard-raising board chairman John Cox says corporate leadership in the industry lags behind other sectors by a decade as it considers extending its scheme to cover service standards to IFAs.

The scheme is also considering expanding its scope to cover banks to take account of a probable enhanced role in distribution.

Pensions Protection Investment Accreditation Board chief executive John Cox, speaking to Money Marketing, compared the life industry with car manufacturers, which, he says, 10 years ago were prepared to sell unreliable products.

Cox says the body is considering including the standard of service given to IFAs in life offices&#39 Raising Standards criteria. He accepts the industry scheme could be scaled down depending on Sandler and other reviews.

Cox says: “The standards of corporate leadership in the life companies compare with those of some other industries 10 years ago. The life companies have a lot of catching up to do to match other consumer-oriented sectors.”

Scottish Life head of communications Alasdair Buchanan says: “The chief executives that I have met would bend over backwards to stop their businesses being dragged through the dirt.”


The great barrier brief

How can it be that, after a decade of trying to encourage electronic trading within the life and pension industry, so little e-commerce takes place?Volumes are much higher than 10 years ago but, as a percentage of the whole market, penetration remains low. How many of the comparative quotes given online are delivered as an […]

Cash for life firms as solvency fears grow

Tumbling stockmarkets are forcing companies to pump cash into their life insurance subsidiaries as they scramble to maintain solvency.AMP is to inject £400m to shore up the solvency of Pearl. AMP chief actuary Peter Carr says the money is likely to go into either Pearl&#39s with-profits shareholder fund or a separate holding company.Abbey National has […]

Critical condition as Swiss Re ends cover

A move by Swiss Re to stop underwriting critical-illness policy guarantees could devastate the market for guaranteed CI products.Advisers are concerned that other reinsurers, notably GE Frankona, could follow, finishing off the CI market for products with terms of over five years without premium reviews.Swiss Re is to stop offering guarantees of more than five […]

Choose your own pace for training online

The Financial Services Training College is setting up a web-based training service allowing IFAs to manage their training at their own pace.It has spent two years and £2.5m developing the serv- ice, which will be be available through firms&#39 intranets or via the internet.The training body is also launching a new website, at, giving […]


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