Scottish Widows marketing director Nick Kirwan is warning that Santander Central Hispano could sell off Abbey's intermediary businesses if its £8.55bn bid is successful.
Kirwan, ex-head of marketing at Abbey subsidiary Scottish Provident, says using intermediaries in Spain is rare.
In a recent letter to IFAs, Santander says a key part of the deal is “to build on Abbey's existing relationship with intermediaries”.
Kirwan says: “Abbey for Intermediaries has the potential to go. Scottish Provident is an extremely strong brand. SCH may decide to allow it to operate independently but if the brand did go it would be madness.”
SCH would not comment on the matter.
Hamptons International Mortgages broker Jonathan Cornell says Santander may be wary of the “ticking timebomb” of endowments so it could sever itself from the life sector. He says: “Intermediaries provide the bulk of mortgage distribution so it would be strange to let them go. In terms of Scottish Provident, does it form part of their core strategy? If Abbey wants a serious crack at things, they cannot ignore intermediaries.”
Way clear for Santander, p14