If anyone was under the misapprehension that Scottish Widows had been put under the command of a mealy-mouthed faceless banking man, think again.
The new chief executive Archie Kane does not mince his words. With-profits will diminish still further. The FSA is actively seeking to corral IFAs into bigger groups – an accusation often made, but not by chief executives of life offices – maybe IFAs were not being paranoid. Standard will need to replace its senior management as it moves to a plc but is likely to stay in the fop five or six. The Government is damaging competition through price caps. And realistic reporting will not provide meaningful comparisons of financial strength, at least not yet.
Well, there's some food for thought.Whatever happenied to the cautious welcome of the latest hare-brained Government or regulatory initiative? We do not agree with all the new Widows' chief says but some much needed plain speaking has been injected into the whole financial services debate. Kane's honesty can only be applauded.