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Aviva confirms D2C platform plans

Aviva has confirmed plans to launch a direct-to-consumer investment platform in Q1 2015.

Although exact details are unclear at this stage, the service is expected to contain a limited range of funds in conjunction with guidance tools.

In an analyst briefing yesterday, the firm indicated the investment options will include self-select and ready-made investment options.

Aviva UK Life chief executive David Barral said: “As far as the platform is concerned in the direct-to-consumer space nobody has really cracked this just yet except for Hargreaves Lansdown. So as far as I’m concerned it is all to play for.

“Why would consumers choose us? Because it is the most simple, most engaging online experience and with a brand like ours if we can give them that guidance we know they will bite our hands off for us to help them.”

He adds the firm is in discussions with the FCA to understand what level of guidance can be given in a non-advised D2C proposition.

It follows Aegon ’s recent move to launch a D2C retirement guidance and savings platform.

In the briefing, Aviva also indicated it would aim to increase its reliance on digital communication through all channels, including through advisers and other intermediaries.

In addition, Aviva announced plans to double annual excess cashflow to £800m by the end of 2016.

It also indicated an intention to reduce its global footprint further. Since 2011 Aviva has withdrawn from 11 markets to operate in 17 globally and says it “will focus on a small number of markets where it has scale and profitability or a distinct competitive advantage”.

The plans follow annual results in March which showed the firm had cut operating expenses by 7 per cent.

When the firm axed its direct advice arm in 2013 it indicated plans to move toward telephone and internet-based distribution.

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