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Advisers angry as L&G Bank takes its pick

IFAs are accusing Legal & General of cherrypicking business by only giving a limited number of intermediaries access to its equity-release product which was launched last month.

L&G Bank has spurned the majority of IFAs by refusing to take applications from advisers it claims do not have adequate expertise in the market.

But the company is denying it is being discriminatory, saying this is a “managed roll-out” of a complex product to firms with a proven track record.

IFA Roberts Clark says it contacted L&G with several clients interested in the product but was told “we only issue application forms to selected IFAs”. It says an L&G broker consultant has now agreed to a meeting but only “under duress”.

Director Ashley Clark says: “I believe the stance taken by L&G is an extra concern for small financial advisers. It worries me that if a provider is cherrypicking who it wants to deal with now, this will get worse after CP121.”

Broker network Mort-gageforce managing director Robert Clifford says: “If one of my brokers wanted to sell the L&G product they could not, although we do £75m of equity-release business annually.

“We will see more lenders being more selective and this may restrict consumer choice.”

L&G spokesman Peter Timberlake says: “Equity release is a complex market full of risks and pitfalls, hence the concentration on IFAs with a proven track record. This is not discriminatory. No provider makes all its products available to everyone.”

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