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Britannic blames cross-sell failure for stakeholder exit

Britannic Assurance claims that its failure to cross-sell products to stakeholder policyholders has forced it to pull out of stakeholder, even though it has a 5 per cent share of the market.

It is ending its stakeholder project and axing 200 jobs after a 35 per cent fall in profits to £52m in the first half of this year from £80m last year.

The company said its main problem was the failure of the worksite marketing project which operated alongside stakeholder, which it was using as a loss-leader.

Existing stakeholder policyholders will continue to be serviced by Britannic, which joins Marks & Spencer and Abbey National in closing their stakeholder operations.

Britannic Group managing director Bryan Portman says: “We went into stakeholder as a loss-leader to sell other products in the workplace.

“After 18 months in the market, we have been finding it hard to cross-sell. The problem seems to be that there is not an appetite among stakeholder policyholders to buy other products.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman says: “There are currently 51 registered stakeholder providers, which we feel provides a competitive market under the current Govern-ment provisions.

“We always expected some consolidation over time in the industry. As long as there are still a number of providers in the market, consumers will have choice.”

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