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Halifax service to target market for retirement advice

Halifax is set to launch an annuity advisory service over the coming months in a bid to make its mark in the expanding retirement planning market.

The bank is in negotiations to construct a panel of major annuity providers but says it is too early to comment on whether the service will be a multi-tied or IFA operation.

The news comes a year after Halifax sparked an ongoing union dispute following its decision to shut down its IFA arm, forcing advisers to become part of its tied salesforce.

Halifax says the service will help achieve the aims of the Government and FSA in offering an open market option for people with pensions coming up to maturity.

It dismisses suggestions that the launch has been timed to coincide with the expected departure of many Equitable Life members and says no decision has yet been made over the branding of the service or how many advisers it will seek to employ.

A spokesman says: “We are just giving ourselves a bit of cover. There are a lot of people coming to the end of their pension planning and we want to offer them a specialist service.”

Carrington Consultants director Nicola Owen says: “Halifax is interested because the retirement market is big and relatively untapped. But it will be interesting to see how well it does because you have to do a high volume of business to make any money.”


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