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Barclays to shut Woolwich PM in revamp of IFA strategy

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Barclays is closing Woolwich Plan Managers and offering all its structured investments for IFAs unbundled through third party platforms and stockbrokers in a revamp of its distribution strategy.

The Barclays-owned Woolwich Plan Managers will close to new investments from December 31. The group intends to administer all existing WPM plans until their maturity dates are reached.

Barclays already offers unbundled structured investments on a number of platforms including Transact, Nucleus and 7IM. The products are also available through a number of stockbrokers and Sipp providers. The group is looking to do distribution deals with other platforms in the future.

The decision is part of a wider move which sees the structured products business transferred to Barclays’ investment bank. The bank’s wealth and investment management arm will continue to offer mutual funds.

Last week, Money Marketing’s sister title Fundweb revealed Barclays is cutting up to 15 members of staff on its IFA distribution team due to a “strategic reorganisation”.

Barclays Capital managing director Colin Dickie says: “This structural re-organisation has been influenced by both the changing regulatory landscape and the increasing importance third party platforms are playing in the advice process.”

Bestinvest managing director Jason Hollands says: “While much attention has focused on the IFA sector, we have seen a number of large banks restructure both their intermediary businesses and product distribution operations in the run up to the RDR.”

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