Advisers have called on the FSA to ensure Friends Life maintains equal service standards in its open and closed book arms amid fears that service levels will fall in the closed operation.
Last week, moneymarketing.co.uk revealed Resolution plans to split Friends Life into an open front book and a closed back book.
Friends Life executive director of strategy, capital and risk Evelyn Bourke is set to run the closed life business. Andy Briggs, who was confirmed as chief executive on June 1, will run the open book operation.
The firm is expected to make an official announcement about the split as part of its interim results on August 16.
Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Robert Reid says: “The service IFAs get from closed life companies is generally deplorable and there will be a lot of Friends Life customers going into that part of the business.
“I am concerned about the impact that this decision will have on those people. The regulator needs to step in and insist that the service levels are the same in both parts of the business.”
Worldwide Financial Planning IFA Nick McBreen says: “It is inevitable that the open part of the business, which will generate profits, will attract the most resources.
“I would be stunned if the service levels in the closed part of the business do not decline. In an ideal world, the regulator would step in to protect the consumer.”
Resolution chief executive John Tiner first floated the idea of splitting the Friends Life business in February as one of a number of exit strategy options when it comes to concluding its life sector consolidation project.
Friends Life and the FSA declined to comment.