IFAs have criticised Standard Life for not valuing the adviser channel following chief executive David Nish’s announcement this week that the firm is looking to develop its direct-to-consumer offering.
Nish said: “We do not serve 70 per cent of the market, those people who do not use advisers. That is daft.”
Managing director of distribution Paul Matthews says that Standard Life is committed to intermediaries but is looking to help those who do not use an IFA. He says: “There is a bigger percentage of the population that currently do not use an IFA or do not even save and we want to give them some simple products.”
Harvest IFM partner Julian Stevens says the decision demonstrates that IFAs are no longer the favoured method of distribution for Standard.
He says: “These proclamations saying they are committed to the IFA distribution channel are a load of cobblers. We are just one distribution channel among many that Standard is targeting.”
Bloomsbury Financial Planning partner Jason Butler says the move makes the availability of advice harder for consumers.
He says: “There is a big problem, in that clients do not need products half of the time. Manufacturers need to realise that sometimes the consumer needs advice more than a product.”