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Clerical&#39s GPPs still being sold via benefit firm

Clerical Medical is still selling pensions in the group market through former Equitable Life employee benefits arm EB Solutions despite pulling out of the IFA market.

Clerical says it plans to relaunch its brand in the IFA channel ahead of its re-entry into the group pension market early next year.

While it scotched rumours that it is continuing to sell through selected IFAs, it says the Clerical brand is still active in the group market through EB Solutions although with a separate range of products from Clerical&#39s core group range.

Halifax subsidiary St James Place is also selling Clerical group pension products, with sales processed through a separate back-office system.

The news follows Clerical&#39s withdrawal from the group pension market last week due to admin overload until Q1, 2002.

Following ScotAm&#39s indefinite withdrawal of initial commission on regular-premium business, meaning that any plans to be a major stakeholder provider have been shelved, Clerical is keen to curb any parallels between the two providers.

Pensions strategy manager Nigel Stammers says: “We did not opt to simply remove commission because we would only do that if IFAs wanted us to and this is not an open-ended withdrawal. As well as remaining successful in individual pensions and other areas, we are looking at plans for a relaunch into the group pension market, while we realise for advisers the proof of the pudding will be in the tasting.”

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