Abbey Life has resorted to mailing random members of the public, including a member of IFA Promotion's team, to offer them jobs as commission-only direct salespeople.
The troubled life office believes this recruitment strategy will help revive its fortunes which have been flagging since it suffered a massive increase in liabilities last year brought about by the cost of meeting annuity guarantees and the pensions misselling review.
In August this year it was bailed out of a solvency crisis by parent company Lloyds TSB, which pumped £176m into its coffers.
The letter which opens with the line "This may come as a surprise, I hope you will find it a pleasant one," and offers readers the chance to discuss with a regional manager a sales job which does not pay a salary, only commission.
The woman who answered MM's inquiry at the life office declined to say how much money a salesperson could expect to make but said anyone responding to the letter would be put through same training regime as any other salespeople, even those recruited through more orthodox methods.
IFA Promotion managing director Ann-Marie Martyn: "This sort of thing gives the industry a bad name and makes you wonder how tarnished is the name of the profession if this is how companies are forced to recruit people.I think its quite tasteless."
Abbey Life communications manager Ginny Broad says: "It is one method among many that we use to contact people and there is no obligation for them to follow through."