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Barclays looks to switch to multi-tied strategy

Barclays is looking to loosen its exclusive tie with Legal & General, considering a multi-tied arrangement for all of its distribution channels, including Woolwich IFA Services, according to its managing director retail business Bob Dench.

The bank says it recognises that, for some consumers, a tied channel will remain the best option and, for that channel, Legal & General will “likely remain the core provider” but Dench says that multi-ties are being considered across the board.

Dench, who heads the team considering distribution after depolarisation, says nothing has been ruled out and L&G is aware it is considering multi-ties across all its channels.

L&G group director, retail distribution Kate Avery says she is in talks with Barclays to remain the core provider for simple products targeted at the mass market but understands that for multi-tie or IFA parts of the business, things could change.

Business partnerships, which include Barclays and Alliance & Leicester, accounted for around 47 per cent of L&G&#39s new business last year.

Dench says: “When we did the deal with L&G, we told them we would retain the options after depolarisation of tied, multi-tied and independent across all of our businesses.

“It is understood that tied will be the right channel for some of our customers and, for that, L&G will be likely to remain the core provider of mass market products. The merits of extending the IFA or multi-tied operations to all of our channels are, however, being explored.”

Avery says: “We are in discussions with Barclays as to what proportion of products go lighter-touch or non-advised and for those we would hope to remain the core provider, provided that our products remain competitive.”

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