View more on these topics

Advisers want service pledge in Friends open and shut split

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, 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.


Businesses to have living wills for crisis plan

Banks and big investment firms in the UK will be required to develop living wills setting out how they will cope if they hit financial difficulties without being bailed out by taxpayers. The FSA this week published consultation and discussion papers on its proposals for recovery and resolution plans. All UK-incorporated deposit takers, subsidiaries and […]


Four EU nations ban short-selling

France, Spain, Italy and Belgium have imposed a 15-day ban on short-selling in an attempt to stabilise markets after European Bank shares hit their lowest level since the 2008 crisis. This week, rumours that France was to follow the US in having its AAA credit rating downgraded by Standard and Poor’s helped push down share […]


Consumer panel calls for ‘predictable outcome’ products

The Financial Services Consumer Panel says that consumers must have access to straight forward products that deliver clearly defined results to restore trust in financial services in the wake of Payment Protection Insurance misselling. The panel says that product complexity means many consumers find choosing the right products a stressful and unrewarding experience. FSCP chair […]

The Downsizing Delusion: Why relying exclusively on your home to fund your retirement may end in tears

By Steve Webb, director of policy The British obsession with homeownership can have dangerous consequences. A recent survey by Barings¹ found that up to three million people of working age were planning to rely wholly on the value of their home to fund their retirement. We are not talking about people investing in buy-to-let or […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Just some unilateral service standards would be nice…. Friends, we have had excellent service from their Corporate Pensions section whilst AXA have been an absolute shower…

    Just today the AXA side have written to us as three months ago, owing to a systems problem, they overpaid a client after a drawdown review and guess what…. as they have heard nothing from the client, they have come to us…. didnt copy us in, in the first place oh no….

    Why is it that all big companies have to do is say ‘sorry’, that might actually be acceptable if they meant it… but if I had screwed up in such a fashion I bet I would now be asked to stand that amount..

    Come RDR chaps, that portion of commission that we could offset against shabby administration will not exist.. so I would suggest you all get your houses in order, otherwise all we will be doing in the IFA community is raising invoices.. so no good/bad service please.. just acceptable…

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