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National Savings targets IFAs&#39 risk-averse clients

National Savings & Investments is revamping its intermediary service in a bid to secure a significant slice of the IFA market within the next five years.

After several years of relative obscurity in the intermediary sector, NS&I, the UK&#39s biggest savings institution, is aiming to take advantage of its Treasury-backed status to tempt IFAs with risk-averse clients to recommend its products.

Although it remains steadfast in its refusal to pay commission, for the first time in its 141-year history, NS&I has appointed an intermediary account manager – Sally Mantell – to help forge relationships and improve services for advisers.

It is also overhauling its web-based IFA centre, which lets IFAs download application forms, and phone helpline to ensure that more qualified staff are on hand to offer advice.

But the company believes the most important factor is that it is offering tranches of guaranteed equity bonds, which it says are not only safe but require advice, unlike its cash products, for which customers have often been diverted to NS&I via the Post Office by IFAs.

NS&I also admits to be reaping the benefits from stockmarket volatility and cuts by insurers, which had previously significantly better rates than NS&I.

Mantell says: “Many IFAs are now talking about our products because of current market conditions. We can be a safe haven. We are looking to significantly expand the amount of business we do through IFAs and continue forging relationships.”

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