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Aegon rethinks network of ScotEq sales centres

Aegon UK is replacing its 28-branch network with 17 enlarged sales centres for the distribution of Scottish Equitable products to IFAs.

The company says the new system – which will be put in place in the first half of this year – will be better suited to the new sales environment of fewer, bigger firms as the IFA sector consolidates.

The national network will be complemented by an enhanced role for ScotEq&#39s call centre operation – IFA Access.

IFA Access, which was launched in 2000, offers to service IFAs by phone and internet and accounts for 5 per cent of all new business.

The firm says the rationalisation of its branch system will lead to cost-cutting efficiencies and improved service.

Aegon UK has created a network of IFAs through acquisitions over the last two years which puts it among the top 10 IFA firms in the UK in terms both of adviser numbers and revenue. The company says it intends to become a top five player in the supply and distribution of financial service products.

Chief executive David Henderson says: “As well as fewer product providers, there will be fewer and bigger financial adviser companies in the fut-ure. This will put more at stake in terms of managing provider/adviser relationships. Because they will be bigger businesses, there is an opportunity to build genuine business partnerships with IFAs for their benefit and ours.

“In the longer term, our goal is to be as firmly embedded as a top five distributor as we are in the provider market. The experience that we have gained through owning IFA businesses is starting to inform what we do in other parts of the group.”


CML urges Treasury to regulate home reversion

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has urged the Treasury to regulate home reversion plans to put them on an equal footing with equity release. In its response to the Treasury&#39s ongoing consultation into whether it should regulate home reversion, the CML says failure to regulate the market could result in a skewed equity release market […]

Regulation concerns of new CML chief Gunther

The increasing costs of statutory regulation facing the mortgage industry is one of the most pressing issues on the agenda, according to new CML chairwoman Anne Gunther. Standard Life Bank chief executive Gunther, who last week replaced HSBC head of banking and mortgages Clive Wood, says one of the CML&#39s primary responsibilities is to ensure […]

Growing problem of pension limit

IFAs with clients who expect to break the £1.4m lifetime limit face an advice dilemma over the Inland Revenue&#39s proposals for transitional protection, warns Scottish Life head of pensions strategy Steve Bee. Bee says IFAs face a difficult choice between recommending clients to leave their occupational scheme or stay in and risk being hit by […]

ScotEq Protect slashes premiums by up to 30%

Scottish Equitable Protect has cut rates on its mortgage protection products by up to 30 per cent in a radical overhaul of its menu. Taking effect from last week, premiums on level life, critical-illness cover and life insurance with critical-illness cover are down by up to 30 per cent, with decreasing life, CI and life […]


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