CIS is quitting the with-profits endowments savings plan market, saying it is looking to provide new with-profits products which are better suited to the post-Sandler environment.
At the peak of the product's popularity in 1996, CIS sold about 100,000 with-profits endowment plans in the first six month. However, in the first half of this year, the company sold only 19,000 plans.
It withdrew from mortgage endowment sales two years ago.
Many other providers still offer endowments but few actively promote them.
CIS says the move reflects product evolution. It will continue to offer with-profits bonds and an insurance Isa and ringfenced stakeholder with-profits plans.
General manager (marketing) Martin Clarke says: “We want to focus on our modern products which meet the changing needs of our customers and will stay the course in a post-Sandler world. We strongly believe that smoothed returns have a future to play in encouraging people to save.”
Scottish Life head of communications Alasdair Buch-anan says: “Not too many people would be launching new endowments but it does not cost much to stay in the market and we are getting reasonable business volumes.”
Franklins Financial Ser-vices partner Neil Franklin says: “It is a dead product and I am surprised that there are still companies offering them. It is a short-term world now and endowments are competing with Isas, which have lower charges and are more tax-efficient.”