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Lloyds axes mass-market investment advice

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Lloyds Banking Group is axing its mass-market investment advice service while Santander will offer restricted investment advice to customers with £25,000 or more to invest.

Last week, Money Marketing revealed that Lloyds will only offer face-to-face investment advice to consumers with £100,000 or more to invest through LBG’s private banking services from November.

In February, the group announced it will split its advice offering between basic protection advice and a “financial planning” service. LBG says this service will no longer be offered to consumers with less than £100,000 to invest after research showed the majority of these consumers are not prepared to pay a fee for advice.

Basic protection advice will continue to be offered to all consumers.

Money Marketing understands around 1,000 advisers will be affected by the decision but Lloyds says there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the move.

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesman says: “An extensive review of how the market will evolve after the RDR has shown that for the majority of our customers, demand for a fee-based financial planning advice service decreases when they have lower amounts to invest. As a result, from November, we will not offer an investment advice service for customers who hold less than £100,000 in savings and investments. We will continue to offer protection advice.

“Existing retail investment customers with less than £100,000 of investable assets will be able to access a non-advised service through Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB. We will give customers information and help with savings products on a non-advised basis and during 2013 we will increase the range of savings products available.

“We will continue to grow our bancassurance business. It will be a simplified business with transparent products that add value and protect our customers. Bancassurance remains part of our overall strategy to become the best bank for customers.”

Money Marketing also revealed Santander will offer a restricted, face-to-face investment advice service to customers with £25,000 or more to invest. It will launch an “RDR advisory service” for all customers offering savings and banking solutions and protection.

A spokeswoman says: “We are committed to the continuation of face-to-face advice for our customers and will be launching our RDR advisory service towards the end of the year. Our advice will cover the full range from savings and banking solutions, to financial protection for dependents and longer term investments.

“As far as investment advice goes, this will be a restricted advice service as it will offer advice on investing and on the most suitable solution from the range of investments provided by Santander Asset Management. We anticipate that in respect of investment advice, our process will be aimed at those customers with existing savings and investments of £25,000 or more.”

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