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Clerical meets the low-charge challenge

Clerical Medical is developing a single platform for flexible bond products to compete with the challenge of low charges across the industry brought about by stakeholder.

The company says the platform gives it the flexibility to bring products to the market quickly as needs change.

Clerical says it is resp onding to the pace of competition and change in the financial services market.

It says life offices are facing a number of pressures, including the Gov ernment increasingly set ting policy around low-charging products such as stakeholder and Cat standards, tough new dem ands from consumers and the continued pressure on margins from product providers and IFAs.

The platform will enable Clerical to vary features such as access to funds, charging structures and commission terms.

Product marketing manager Adrian Smith says: “IFAs will need to change not only for stakeholder pensions but for all product categories. Together, we need to be able to quickly develop propositions for market segments as they change and as new ones emerge. The new platform will enable us to do this.

“From now on, we can more easily and quickly place customer and market needs at the forefront of our product development process.”

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