Could someone explain where the benefit comes from in speaking with “a centralised and single point of contact” who will inevitably have a shallower understanding than the specialists?
Direct access and not unnecessary hurdles is what I want.
If Abbey National thinks that I will put business with Scottish Mutual or any of their other components to reduce the number of provider interfaces I have, they do not only have another think coming but they can try and write a compliant suitability letter, for example, “The reason I have recommended a Scottish Mutual bond is because I deal with other subsidiaries of Abbeynationalforintermediarieseven though their own parent bank will not sell you one.”
Some have asked why Abbey has decided to sell a Prudential bond rather than their own.
Surely they are keen because of the market-leading commission we are told that each will enjoy for selling the other's products.
As the Prudential will sell, probably with some sort of contractual obligation,Scottish Provident's protection products, this might turn out to be a bit of a one-sided gain for Abbey if with-profits bonds become untouchable.
In case, anyone thinks Abbey National is the IFA's friend, I was with their then IFA arm ANFS back in 1993 when all their IFAs hoped that a closer association with the bank would evolve, that is, before Abbey National Life really got going. At the annual conference, a main board director spoke of “the importance to avoid customer confusion as to whom they were dealing with”. That said to me “good night ANFS”. The rest is history.
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