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More life firms will take the direct route

THE EDITOR’S COMMENT OF THE WEEK

Web comment relating to Friends Life direct-to-consumer financial planning service

The next few years, with the pressure on margins and obtaining new business for life companies, they will do anything to survive. FL, Aviva, Standard Life and all others will go down this route as fewer and fewer advisers put business their way other than protection.

In some respects, they have brought about their own demise by allowing all and sundry in the past to sell business (building society tie-ups, etc). As advisers move more into holistic financial planning and wealth management, FL, like many others, has to get its business from somewhere. They cannot build a platform very successfully so where are they going to get mass-market business from?

As people have stated previously, the secret is to keep your clients close and tell them to seek your honest opinion before doing anything with any of the companies whom they hold accounts, policies or investments.

Dare I say it, perhaps this will focus IFA attention on their clients and in some cases stop them picking up commission for doing nothing.

Bob Donaldson

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