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Co-op looks to offload £18bn life arm

Co-operative Financial Services has hired Deutsche Bank to look for a buyer for its £18bn life arm, according to a report in the Financial Mail on Sunday.

The move, tipped by Marketing Marketing in August, is part of a strategic review at Co-op Financial Services which has already seen its adviser arm Co-op IFA sold to Ashcourt Rowan.

Its life and health insurance arm has assets worth around £18bn with a focus on pension and protection business, sold through a direct salesforce.

In January 2009, Britannia and the Co-operative Bank announced a merger aimed at creating a “super-mutual” with £70bn of assets.

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There are 10 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Liabilities R Us

  2. I am a CIS Financial Advisor with many years of LOYAL service and am completely disillusioned with the announcement in the weekend newspapers, as once again
    CIS ignore their moral, ethical and dignity policies by treating their advisers as mushrooms in their communications. It took until almost 1300 today for Neville Richardson to issue a statement not deigning the reports, but basically telling us that a review is still underway and that it would be wrong to inform us of any details at this time. Can someone within the executive illuminate us to what is happening to our futures instead of pimping us to a new paymaster that none of us wish to abandon our Ethical Principals to.

  3. The trouble with CFS or the old CIS and the field sales advisers is that they are never told the truth, they got rid of advisers July 2009, then got rid of some of the best managers, yes some did deserve to go to cut costs, they do not communicate with the middle management who know what the problems are , instead they employ and listen to to external directors who have vast experience in closing down business.They have a think , run with it find out it does now work , then try something else , be honest wth the staff in field sales and tell them the plan is to pass them on to some other company to avoid paying redundancy, most of the older staff are there plodding on just wiating for a big cheque , the loyalty they had, disappeared,. The management listen to the so called top producers and think that without them field sales would collaspe , bottome line is the profitability of an employee, most of the business written there is no protit it is investments stopped and re written to earn commision , not new money , A business survives on retention of business and new money on the books
    I am awaithing a decision like everyone else !!

  4. So sad, a firm which did provide a good service and very good insurance products.

    I cannot understand why they did not simply quarter the direct sales force or less when they stopped the agencies and only have this staff refer everything to insurance or advisers on the telephone, the amount of insurance, mortgages etc that could have gone through that sales force with that system would have been astronomic.

    That is the last of the firms which kept the lower end of the market adequately insured and with small savings plans incl cash ISAs.

    Their house insurance was top notch too.

    I can see their assets being taken over and the doors shut.

    I dread to think what number of job losses have now been notched up prior to the RDR, i reckon we are now in to the thousands, dreadful that they all survived the credit crunch but do not think they can survive regulation or future compensation costs.

    Yet more cost to be divided out amongst those that remain.

  5. I’ve been one of those loyal staff in field sales for the CIS, some 14 excellent years,11 years in supporting some great F.A’s in management,I have seen so many changes some for the good and bad,but we were always told ‘you are the future’ how my eyes were opened, i was forced into taking a great compromise package,better than boots/coalboard, and to find that the coop had made 15% profit on there withprofits fund last year 2009 only to declare a whopping 2% annual bonus for all their long term investing clients and still apply an MVR.JOKERS! My closest friend has been paying into a PPS/SHP over the last 10 years and to my amazement no bonuses have been paid to him for the last 6 years,the CIS call themselves Ethical?Social Responsable?Treating Customers Fairly,now up for sale to only yet again confuse their staff, they ought to treat their staff fairly.Maybe the Coop Bank and Brittania rule the Co-op?Good look to the loyal.

  6. I was a CIS field adviser for four years and the amount of changes they made during that time was a variety. Some advisers building up industry debts and rewriting business to gain extra commission. The trouble here is that the client banks the advisers have are an ageing population who don’t see the field staff as Financial Advisers but still the old insurance man who comes round to re-broker their motor or home insurance. Nothing was really done to educate the public that they could do more and they never attempted to advertise on TV or anywhere about that arm of the business and the benefits to potentially new clients. All we had was to flog the old with profits policies and expensive life insurance, their motto being “advice not price” I’m glad i’m an IFA now and doing my customers a decent service from the whole of the market because there is alot better out there!

  7. No shock to this news. I worked for the CIS/CFS for over five years as first an agent then an FA. Last November I handed my notice in as the pure greed, ignorance and ego driven so called leaders of the field sales division had destroyed my belief and trust in the once great company.
    I now work as an IFA and the sad thing that I come across is that some of the long term customers of the co-op insurance still feel that the company care about their needs, this latest review shows they dont….the money that has been wasted on the wrong people and wrong choices within the CIS over the years is unbelievable. The sad thing is if you were to ask any of those decision makers if they believe that wrong choices were made, they would probably still say no!! Thats what big payoffs do for you.

  8. I have worked as an FA for the CIS over the past three years and can honesttly say that they are one of the worst employers I have ever worked for (and I have worked for some bad ones duing my time!)

    They CIS never tell their staff the truth, the senior management have no idea of what’s going on at ground level and do very little (if anything at all), it’s ran by a bunch of con merchants who are only out to line their own pockets.’Suprisingly’ all the top producers have had years of experience in the bank compared to the rest of us, the training is shocking and I don’t think they would know what TCF was if it slapped them in the face. I’ve attended team meetings where staff have used racist, sexist and homophobic words and statements and this has been encouraged by management.

    This has to be one of the most ‘unethical’ companies in the world and I’m sure if Mr Joe Bloggs knew exactly what went on, he or she wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole!!!………………..bring on the redundancies!!

  9. I am currently an gs for cis what dusgusts me us that we have to find out about decisions made about are jobs in the media! Nevelle Richardson sent us an email explaining that there is a life and savings review after it had been reported in the press however he couldn’t have written it himself as he was sunning it up on holiday at the time! what a shameful way to treat your staff so much for the ethical policy! even now in Feb 2011 they still claim they have not decided although regional managers have had to sign confidentiality agreements poor show I’m off!

  10. yet again the advisers are kept in the dark and treated as the lowest of the low – 16 yrs loyal service to the company and i have watched everyone from the girls in the office to the fat cat managers walk away with redundancy. we will be sold off to whoever is stupid enough to take us without a penny in redundancy..

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