There was a news item in last week's edition of Money Marketing in which advisers questioned Legal & General's commitment to IFAs in the light of changes that we have made to commission on pension increments and linked this to our relationship with Barclays.
I feel this has misrepresented our strategy and our position in the IFA market in particular.
First, we have brought our pension increment commission into line with changes that we introduced or new business over two years ago.
Having significantly reduced charges for existing pension plans following the introduction of stakeholder to ensure that existing clients were not at a disadvantage, we held commission levels as long as we felt able.
This was to help ease the transition for all our intermediaries, including IFAs, but ultimately we had to bring commission into line with the charges.
This change applied equally to all our distribution channels and is consistent with the trend in the industry.
Legal & General has always been a multi-channel distributor because we believe that makes us a stronger company, enabling us to offer better-value products which benefit all types of intermediaries.
As evidence of this, we have achieved 25 per cent annual compound growth in UK individual new business since 1995, with 54 per cent of that business introduced by IFAs in 2001.
Our relationship with Barclays is not a shift from that successful strategy but an example of it. As a result, our proposition to IFAs will be stronger.
The IFA market is critical to Legal & General now and will remain so and whatever new types of intermediary result from CP121 will be equally important as we continue to pursue a multi-distribution strategy.
Head of IFA sales,
Legal & General.