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Friendlies call for return to joint branding in polarisation rethink

Friendly Societies are call ing for the polarisation reg ime to be relaxed

and a ret urn to joint branding with third parties.

The Association of Friendly Societies&#39 submission to the FSA calls for the

current rules to be tweaked to remove what it describes as the damaging

side-effects that pol arisation has on friendlies and providers of

specialist niche products.

It argues that polarisation has reduced choice for clients.

Family Assurance IFA sales director Peter Burnell says friendlies want to

once again distribute their products through third parties, such as banks,

as they did before polarisation was introduced.

Burnell says polarisation rules need to be relaxed to allow friendlies to

white label or joint-brand products through third parties.

He says: “The issue of polarisation has been a bit of a political football

and I really could not say in which net the ball will ultimately end up. It

could go either way.”

AFS general secretary Mar- ion Poole says: “We do not want to junk the old

regime and have to start from scratch. We believe it is perfectly possible

to tweak the present scheme and remove the unintended problems that are

hinder ing friendlies. We can do this without disturbing the relationship

between consumer and IFAs or tied agents.”

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