Legal & General is linking up with Barclays to sell its life and pension products, including stakeholder, through the bank's branch network.
L&G attributes the alliance in part to success within the IFA channel but the move has caused some advisers to predict a wave of tie-ups and a shift away from the intermediary channel.
At the announcement on Tuesday, L&G group chief executive David Prosser said he believed the link-up with Barclays will be “the bancassurance model of the future”.
The alliance comes ahead of the planned liberalisation of the rules on polarisation des igned to increase distribution for stakeholder.
From April 6, L&G will provide Barclays customers with stakeholder and from the second half of the year, subject to FSA approval, Barclays will offer its customers the full range of L&G products.
The move will lead to 750 job losses and the closing to new business of Barclays Life, Barclays Funds and b2 from the second half of the year, while the unit trust business will be transferred to L&G.
Barclays says it expects to increase L&G's UK equivalent premium income by over 25 per cent in the first year of operation.
L&G spokesman John Morgan says: “The IFA channel accounts for more than half of L&G's business and the all iance with Barclays is an end orsement of this success. We are not shifting focus and will be making an announcement in the next two weeks on a service proposition which foc uses on the IFA market.”
But Informed Choice managing director Nick Bamford says: “Life offices are always trying to control their distribution channels and the IFA channel is difficult to control. There will be more and more consolidation between banks and life offices.”