View more on these topics

IFAs angry at Standard direct sales plan

Nish: ‘70% of market’
Nish: ‘70% of market’

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.”

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. To be fair I think it says more about the quality of the product. If it was any good IFAs would be advising clients to use them.

    If they’re that bad that they need the product to be sold by a direct sales team as the only way that the general public will buy them that highlights a whole new issue for Standard Life.

    Have to agree with Jason Butler on this one.

  2. I have no problem with them going direct. However, they need to improve over their current service. I had someone in the last week who enquired via their annuity service that they didnt qualify for enhanced terms and that Std told them that Aviva were best. The client did qualify for enhanced terms and Aviva were not best of the non-enhanced providers either. The client told me that Std had told him that they were trying to cut out the middle man to save the customers money. A total load of lies and marketing BS as it neither replaced the “middle man” or saved money. Quite the opposite.

  3. Surely we must repsect the right for a product provider to compete for a market share. I think it is perfectly acceptable to offer products direct and find David Nish’s straight talking refreshing. I beleive what he says about continuing to support broker channels, unlike many providers who simply pay lip service. The jury should hold verdict until the products and marketing campaigns are disclosed. If there are obvious ploys to channel away from advice then take issue.

  4. The halo is slipping – charge hikes – going direct.

    Are you sure all those clients you placed with them are under YOUR control? The sales guys will tell you what you want hear – I wonder what the top brass are thinking?

  5. Life assurance companies, investment companies mortgage companies and general insurance companies should reserve the right to deal direct with the public or via independent advisors, but should not be allowed to have both distribution channels. Having direct sales usually means dual or pricing as we are now seeing with mortgage lenders, in the past insurance companies have had exclusive direct deals- all this must stop! It confuses the consumer and wastes so much time and energy for everyone! I believe each institution should decide if they are a direct sales operation or independent source only for new business. Remember when the banks would promote their own products and when the client declined they referredvyou upstairs to their independent advisor fir a second chancecat the business! Remember when the banks were caught calling client about the investments and life assurance because they were activley searching through the new standing ordersvat the bank to identify new customers! It’s time the public demand that institutions are either wearingbthe trouser or the skirt but not both!

  6. Standard Life are entitled to sell products direct to consumers, but David Nish should know the general public do not buy financial products, clients have to be advised and in many cases the products need to be sold ( I know this is a dirty word to some).

    Std have tried a direct sales force before and it did not work, I agree with most other comments these companies, life assurer and lenders should decide whether they are a direct or introduced business.

    Work out what is right for their business model and work on getting the service to the right level with one charging structure for each product.

  7. Dennis Burling ACII APFS, Chartered Finalcial Plan 17th September 2010 at 1:15 pm

    COULD I ENDORSE THE VIEW THAT STANDARD LIFE NO LONGER VALUE IFAS – I HAVE JUST DISCOVERED THAT FOR AN EXISTING CLIENT OF MINE STANDARD HAVE RECENTLY STOPPED PAYING INITIAL COMMISSION ON AUTOMATIC INDEXATION PREMIUM INCREASES INTO A LONG ESTABLISHED PENSION PLAN HAVING CHANGED THE COMMISSION TERMS TWICE DURING THE TERM WITH NO CONSULTATION. THEY ARE USING THE EXCUSE THAT THE FUND GROWTH IS NOT BIG ENOUGH TO COVER THIS !!! NEEDLESS TO SAY I AM AWAITING THIER RESPONSE TO MY COMPLAINT AND WOULD SUGGEST THAT ALL ADVISERS MAY WISH TO RECONSIDER THE MERITS OF INTRODUCING NEW BUSINESS TO A COMPANY THAT BREAKS ITS CONTRACTUAL PROMISES TO GET US TO SELL ITS PRODUCTS – I SUSPECT THEY NEED THEIR DIRECT SALES SIDE AS IFA BUSINESS MAY WELL DRY UP VERY SOON IF THIS PRACTICE IS MAINTAINED

  8. Once commission ceases expect the gloves to come off completely. Life offices and fund houses will ALL deal direct – no matter what they say now.

    For those who do genuinely offer complex Independent Advice (perhaps 1 in 20) this will not matter. For the rest of us the choice will be to compete or retire.

    Anyone who has ever trusted these companies needs to wake up.

Leave a comment

Close

Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com