Axa says IFAs should question whether the stakeholder providers that are not linking up with high-street banks will survive, following its partnership with Bank of Scotland.
The Bank of Scotland stakeholder will not carry the Axa brand although the life office will provide the investments and administration for the product.
Axa, which recently unveiled plans to offer direct online advice, says it is currently in negotiations with other banking partners about multi-tying and that it supports proposals to relax the polarisation regime for stakeholder pensions featured in the Treasury's consultation on phase one.
BoS says it will target the stakeholder at its business customers initially and will offer the pension through its branch network to private customers later on this year.
Axa head of business development Stephen Burgess says: “We are still 100 per cent committed to IFAs but we recognise that to be a surviving player you need sufficient scale. If I were an IFA, I would be very concerned with stakeholder offices which are not doing this, in terms of whether they will still be a player in five years. It should be high up on their list of reassurances.”
Skandia multifunds brand manager Peter Jordan says: “All that IFAs are interested in is whether or not they are being cut out of the market and whether or not the banks are getting a better deal. IFAs would be mad to be selling products which people can get cheaper at the banks.”