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Boost for Options’ transfers as 40% completed in seven days

Open market option transfers using the Association of British Insurers’ Options’ initiative increased by 70 per cent to 12,000 last year, with almost 40 per cent of transfers completed in under seven days.

Omo transfers took an average of 11 days in both Q2 and Q3 of 2009 and stayed at 11 days in the fourth quarter.

Options has reduced pension-to-pension transfer times from an industry average of 36 days. Since the initiative launched last August, nearly 6,000 pension transfers have been completed and eight providers are now live for pension-to-pension transfers.

Sixteen providers are using Options for Omo business. Abbey Life and Windsor Life are expected to go live by the end of next month. Zurich has yet to sign up.

ABI director of life & savings Maggie Craig says: “Options has made an enormous impact in its first year and these results demonstrate that success.”

Directly Financial director Stuart Bayliss says: “There is no question that life is better with Options but the delays in informing IFAs if a case is non-Options cause problems and firms that are not live need to get on board.”

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