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Depolarisation survey sends a warning to IFAs

The IFA channel will dominate distribution in the early years of a

depolarised environment but will lose market share to bancassurers and

e-commerce over time, a new survey suggests.

IFAs are the preferred advice channel for 41 per cent of higher-earning UK

adults, with another 13 per cent saying they would approach a multi-tied

adviser and 22 per cent saying they would consult their bank on its product

range, according to the Mori survey for IBM.

The survey gives a ringing endorsement for face-to-face advice from 80 per

cent of respondents while only 9 per cent would want to receive advice from

a qualified adviser based on a phone call.

But the research sounds a warning for the future with 13 per cent of

30-44-year-olds prepared to get advice on the web compared with just 2 per

cent in the 55-plus age group.

The research suggests bancassurers will do well under the twin effects of

depolarisation and new technology.

Mori questioned 435 adults aged 30 or over with an annual income of

£25,000 or more.

IBM global services insurance principal David Taylor says: “The warning

sign is that those under-45s, who should be tomorrow&#39s IFA client, are not

as loyal. But if I was a bank at the moment I would be rubbing my hands

with glee and chasing the FSA on polarisation.”

Berry Birch & Noble group marketing director Stephen Ingledew says: “When

people get to a complicated situation in life, it is so complex that they

will want to go and get advice.”

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