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Metlife and CFS latest to join Options

Metlife and Co-operative Financial Services are the latest product providers to sign up to the Association of British Insurers’ annuity transfer initiative.

The firms join the 16 pension and annuity providers already signed up to Options, 14 of which have gone live with the system.

Scottish Widows and Zurich are the only insurers that have signed up but not gone live despite the fact that Options launched last December.

Zurich says it expects to be using the system by the third quarter but Widows will not set a date, admitting that implementing the initiative is not a priority for the firm.

Options recorded an average transfer time of eight calendar days for the first quarter of the year compared with 35 days before the initiative.

Metlife says that it expects to be using Options by the third quarter.

Managing director UK Dominic Grinstead says: “We have recently signed up to the initiative which we believe is really positive. We are working on implementing the system at the moment and we hope to go live by the third quarter.”

ABI spokesman Jon French says: “It is good news that these providers have signed up to Options and we hope that more will follow.”

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