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Agents lack experience for stakeholder, warns R&SA

Royal & Sun Alliance is calling for tied agents to be limited to offering one stakeholder plan when polarisation rules are relaxed in April.

R&SA says it is concerned that tied advisers do not have the experience to advise on variants of the same product from different companies. Its call is one of many industrywide responses to CP80, the FSA&#39s consultation paper on polarisation.

R&SA portfolio research and development leader Neil Southworth says: “We understand where the Government is coming from but the whole scope is too open to see if reasonable change is possible or not. Access to only one stakeholder fits in with their current experience and the principle of tied advice.”

Scottish Life has registered its concern with the FSA that if stakeholder is sold without advice, the people it is meant to help could lose out.

It claims the target group for stakeholder is likely to be hardest hit by the effects of the minimum income guarantee and pension credits.

ScotLife also feels that too many changes in the marketplace at one time could damage customer confidence.

Norwich Union supports the first wave of changes but is asking the FSA to impose a period of reflection to assess the effects that the first phase of changes have brought in.

But NU is concerned that distributors of direct-offer products must explain how they have selected their product ranges and the providers they deal with.

l Polarisation consultation, p44-45

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