Standard Life is aiming to make a big play in the protection market,
challenging established specialist Scottish Provident, Skandia and new
entrants such as Scottish Equitable.
Finance director Iain Lumsden, who will succeed managing director Scott
Bell next year as group chief executive, says Standard will also be working
to develop new annuity products to meet criticisms of falling annuity rates
Standard is looking to integrate its protection range with products from
its healthcare business and is considering following ScotProv's and
ScotEq's footsteps by offering menu-based products.
The launch of a new protection brand is not ruled out. The company says
the demise of endowment products is leaving many people without enough
Lumsden says the IFA channel is set to grow. Contrary to industry opinion,
he claims high-street banks are not queuing up to multi-tie if polarisation
is scrapped. He says the theory that banks want the introduction of
multi-ties so they can sell products from other providers is mistaken.
He says Standard would be heavily involved in the next stage of the
polarisation review and says the current regime has worked well for
“The demand for multi-ties does not seem to arise from banks. A belief has
originated that banks want to sell other people's products but it is not
obvious they do. The IFA market is more robust than other distribution
channels. Our first focus right now is stakeholder but we must not forget
our roots as a life insurance company,” says Lumsden.