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Free annuity exchange to offer real-time rates

IFAs are to get access to a free annuity exchange providing real-time guaranteed rates from the whole industry and allowing open market annuities to be bought online.

The industrywide online exchange will provide IFAs with guaranteed quotations for conventional annuities, enhanced annuities for those who require individual underwriting as well as withprofits and investment-linked annuities.

The top three rates for conventional and enhanced annuities will be given on a live and guaranteed basis. Providers will be able to display top Omo comparisons to customers.

The service will be freely available on The Exchange platform as well as to IFA networks. It will have a consumer side but this will only provide rate comparison and information.

The system, which will be live by the end of the year, is the brainchild of Stuart Bayliss of Annuity Direct and has been developed by technology company Ecom.

Bayliss says the exchange will reduce IFA costs by up to 20 per cent and hopes it will also make it easier for new providers to enter the market.

Hargreaves Lansdown is this week setting up its own annuity supermarket to provide consumers with illustrations of Omo rates.

Quotes can then be pro-cessed by the IFA.

Bayliss says: “This changes the whole process of writing annuity business. This is a positive step for the whole annuity industry as it opens up the vesting process for small firms and reduces costs. It has advantages for providers, IFAs and for consumers.”

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