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IFAs strengthen grip on life and pensions

IFAs&#39 dominance of the life and pension market is continuing to strengthen, with their market share rising to 77 per cent from 68 per cent of individual pension sales.

Latest ABI figures for the third quarter of 2001 show pension business is growing rapidly, with sales of individual pensions up to £805m equivalent premium income from £605m EPI last year.

Stakeholder sales have nearly doubled to £110m in quarter three, up from £69m in Q2, with IFAs outstripping dir-ect salesforce rivals taking over half (53 per cent) of sales in Q3, up from 31 per cent in Q2.

Direct-salesforce stakeholder sales have slumped to 38 per cent of the market, down from 60 per cent in Q2.

Employer-sponsored stakeholder pension sales have rocketed to £69m from £17m EPI in Q2, with IFAs taking 70 per cent of this business.

IFAs now account for 79 per cent of regular-premium pensions, up from 70 per cent on last year. Sales of annuities and income drawdown through IFAs were 74 per cent of the market, up from 66 per cent last year, at a time when sales have fallen to £188m from £199m last year.

IFAs&#39 share of life office collective investment schemes, including unit trusts, Oeics and Isas, has also increased in a falling market. Their share is now at 22 per cent, up from 20 per cent, while sales were down to £235m from £327m.

Baronworth Investment Services director Colin Jack-son says: “These figures prove the point that people want independent advice. They do not want their choice restricted to just a handful of providers and I hope Ron Sandler takes this on board.”

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