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Age Concern and CGU in joint initiative

Age Concern is aiming to dominate the over-50s financial services market in 10 years with the launch of new financial services venture.

Age Concern Financial Services is planning to mobilise the power of the &#34grey pound&#34 by selling a range of branded financial services products through its nationwide network of affiliates as an appointed representative of CGU.

It says it will work with the life office on designing products which will force the market to improve provision for the over-50s, particularly those on low incomes.

The new company will be headed by former PPP Lifetime Care director Peter Gatenby and initially sell the income Isa and over 50s life insurance cover already offered by Age Concern.

But Gatenby says all product options are open if the charity identifies a need for them amongst the elderly. An equity release product is being actively considered.

Gatenby, one of the Britain&#39s leading long term care experts, says the charity will wait for a Government decision on its plans for long term care but his background makes a radical move likely.

The charity is aiming to capitalise on what it calls a &#34reservoir of goodwill&#34 held by the public towards it which contrasts starkly with negative image of the financial services industry.

While the venture&#39s initial concentration will be on low income groups products aimed towards the IFA market&#39s clients are in the pipeline.

Gatenby says: &#34We want to be the first port of call for the over 50s for financial services.

Age Concern England director general Sally Greengross says: &#34For too long the financial services industry has concentrated on younger people and has not made the effort to understand the needs of older people.&#34

CGU ltc strategy manager Sandy Johnstone says: &#34We have always had a multi channel distribution strategy and the two of use working together will put us in a very strong position in the minds of the public and IFAs.&#34

But IFA and Sofa chairman Robert Reid says: &#34I think the concept that anyone could convince the public that a single provider can provide all the solutions is somewhat behind the times.&#34


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