View more on these topics

&#39Life offices and fund firms facing post-polar shakeout&#39

The FSA&#39s depolarisation proposals will lead to a steep decline in the number of life and pension providers and fund managers, according to consultancy Pricewater-houseCoopers.

The inevitable shake-up that will follow depolarisation will also lead to the banks having a much greater control over distribution, says insurance division partner Andrew Duncan.

Speaking to Money Mark-eting at the PWC/CBI quarterly financial services survey in London this week, Duncan said the changes the regulator is proposing will result in life, pension and fund providers essentially becoming manufacturers of products for high-street banks which will have a stranglehold on distribution.

He believes the introduction of stakeholder and the 1 per cent world that came with it has improved terms for consumers but made it much more difficult for pension providers to make ends meet and has proved damaging to overall confidence in the market.

Duncan said: “I expect the depolarisation proposals will really force out the winners and the losers in terms of numbers of providers. There will be a significant decline in the number of fund managers selling their products in the future and there just is not room for all the existing life and pension providers. The banks are going to take a bigger share of the distribution, let&#39s face it.”

The survey indicates that optimism in the life sector has deteriorated for the fifth consecutive quarter, albeit by the smallest amount in that time.

Business volumes are lower than normal although insurers expect them to improve modestly over the next quarter.


ABI backs plan from Britannic for annuities

The ABI is to adopt Britannic Retirement Solutions&#39 propo-sals for the introduction of a standard annuity product as its response to the Government&#39s annuity reform consultation.The deadline for responses to the joint Department for Work and Pensions and Inland Revenue consultation paper passed last week.The paper was published this year and set out proposals for […]

Nearly half of &#39target market&#39 don&#39t know stakeholder

Nearly half of people on average or below-average earnings have not heard of stakeholder a year after its launch, according to research for Norwich Union.Research carried out by Mori shows that only 57 per cent of people earning between £10,000 and £25,000 a year say they have heard of stakeholder.Stakeholder awareness increases with earnings, with […]

Pru chief joins PAFS as chief actuary

The Pension Annuity Friendly Society has appointed Richard Willets as chief actuary.This is the second high-profile figure to join the society from Prudential Annuities, with Simon Whitehead made deputy chief executive in January.Willets was actuarial fin-ance manager at Pru Annuities where he spearheaded the launch of Pru&#39s impaired life annuity and bulk annuity business.PAFS, which […]

Halifax and CML want rise in stamp duty threshold

The Government raked in £2.2bn from residential stamp duty in 2001, a rise of 225 per cent from the £675m paid in 1997, according to Halifax.The figures have prompted both Halifax and the Council of Mortgage Lenders to press for the stamp duty threshold to be raised.The CML says more than 60 per cent of […]

What's going on in the 'offshore' world?

Graeme Robb, Senior Technical Manager at Prudential, explores the current state of the nation for offshore issues and highlights areas which may be particularly relevant to advisers. In the context of insurance companies, ‘offshore’ can be a relatively straightforward matter. Like their onshore equivalent, offshore bonds are ‘non-qualifying’ for tax purposes, meaning that all gains […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm