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IFAs angry as Standard Life discounts direct business

Standard Life has been accused of shooting itself in the foot by offering cheaper life policies to direct customers.

The company has been slammed by IFAs for offering discounted life cover through its telesales channel and competing on price with supermarkets.

A male non-smoker aged 30 applying for a 25-year level term policy for 200,000 would pay 11.78 a month by ringing Standard Life direct.

The Exchange quotes 13.38 for the same case and pension term assurance products are also more expensive if bought through the portal.

At Standard’s first results briefing in September, UK chief executive Trevor Matthews said it would no longer compete on price but would focus on quality due to declining protection sales.

Lifesearch head of protection strategy Kevin Carr says: “This is a blatant contradict- ion as Standard Life is heavily dependent on its IFA book. It is shooting itself in the foot.”

CBK principal Peter Chadborn says: “I hope this does not signal a change of direction where it focuses too much on alternative distribution channels to the detriment of IFAs.”

Standard Life protection marketing manager Mick James says: “This came from customers saying they wanted our product but could buy it cheaper from Tesco. These customers were not seeking advice so why wouldn’t we offer them a better deal? We are not setting out to compete with the intermediary market, we are competing with direct providers.”


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