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Banks are forecast to make foray into wrap

High-street banks could be be the next players to enter the wrap market.

FNZ chief executive Adrian Durham says: “Banks have not really got into this area so far but, partly driven by the RDR, I do not think they can ignore it. They already have the customer base and they have the money so it is an obvious play for them.” He says the RDR also offers a big opportunity for asset managers, with FNZ powering JP Morgan’s Wealth Manager Plus platform due to launch in October.

He says: “I think there are some more traditional retail players, like asset managers, who have big retail books and have traditionally sold their products through other people’s platforms who will want to own the customer. They will want to reconnect with the customer and, to some extent, the RDR says you cannot have orphan clients, so I think they will look at this.”

Independent wrap consultant Stan Kirk says: “I am surprised that banks have not already entered the platform market but banks tend to be slow when it comes to improving service to their own customers.

“The question is, what type of customer will they target? Would they be interested in getting into the IFA market via wrap? Absolutely not. Could wrap be a delivery mechanism for banks to offer a better service to their direct customers? Most emphatically yes.”

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Alternative thinking

The summer is normally a relatively quiet time for the annuity market. This summer was no exception, with little movement in annuity rates, but this disguises the easing of annuity rates in 2009 which was a direct result of quantitative easing.

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