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‘Direct channels demeaning advisers’

Insurers selling protection products through direct channels have been critic- ised by IFAs for undermining the advice process and effectively encouraging consumers to misbuy.

Members of the Institute of Financial Planning and other chartered financial planners have backed Money Marketing’s campaign, saying consumers need to be better informed on complex product lines.

IFA Barry Laymond says insurers should not be allowed to sell complicated products as critical-illness cover direct. Apart from the risk of consumers opting for price over value, he says supermarket/insurer distribution relationships undermine traditional life office/ adviser relationships by stripping out advice.

Laymond says: “Life offices should not be allowed to sell products without advice as they are attacking and dem-eaning advice and those who live by giving it. If they want to be our business partners, they should stop harming IFAs and depriving those who need protection from the benefits of professional advice.”

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