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Fears over quality of adviser influx

Lifesearch says it is concerned there will be an influx of poor quality advisers in the protection market when the RDR comes into force and has urged providers to be careful which advisers they deal with.

Chief executive Tom Baigrie fears unscrupulous advisers will try to take advantage of the fact protection is not covered under the RDR and capitalise on the greater demand for advice that is expected once gender neutral pricing is introduced.

Speaking at the Lifesearch protection awards in London last week, Baigrie said: “What we fear is that with the RDR approaching and premiums set to rise, our market will attract many new starters and a lot of them will be of a very low quality. We fear provider eagerness to maintain market share will accelerate the already endemic granting of agencies to frankly dodgy distributors, who are thus allowed to sell great brands and good products awfully.

“A client ripped off by one of these will hate our industry and possibly your brand forever. You have to stop the laissez-faire approach to the quality of distribution and the granting of new agencies.”

Axxis Financial Planning director Owen Wintersgill says: “I do not think there will be an influx of questionable advisers. The vast majority of protection cases are linked with mortgages and I think a lot of advisers will be put off by the fact that brokers are struggling at the moment.”

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