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69% of firms forecast rise in sales through intermediaries

Financial services companies predict an increasing amount of their future sales revenues will come from intermediaries, according to figures from the Financial Services Forum.

The FSF asked banks, building societies, life and pensions firms and fund managers where they thought increases in future sales would come.

It questioned 34 companies about each sales channel and asked whether they thought sales would increase or decrease in that area.

The research shows that 69 per cent expect an increase in sales through intermediaries, with only 10 per cent expecting a decrease.

None of those interviewed expected a decrease in internet sales and 62 per cent predict there will be an increase as customers become more computer literate.

The FSF has carried out research in conjunction with Outlook Research and research and planning consultancy Judy Jones on marketing effectiveness in financial services.

Only 45 per cent of providers expect an increase in fund supermarket sales but 70 per cent of fund managers predict a rise in this area.

Forty-eight per cent believe that there will be an increase in sales generated by direct salesforces and only 24 per cent saw sales in branches increasing.

Aifa director of policy and technical services Fay Goddard says: “These results are positive and very encouraging. I cannot say that I am surprised by the figures.

“We are quite a way off seeing the internet as a dominant distribution channel. Consumers use it as a means of research but tend to be reluctant to buy over the net. It is a confidence factor. People still feel more comfortable seeing an adviser face to face.”

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