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NU chief tells IFAs to grow or get a niche

The UK&#39s biggest life office Norwich Union is telling advisers they must expand or find a business niche if they areto have a future.

NU Life chief executive Philip Scott, speaking at the Aifa conference in London last week, said changes in the marketplace mean IFAs will have to adapt and focus on size or go after a niche. Scott warned IFAs that the middle ground is becoming increasingly dangerous for them and said IFAs have to “be big or very good and focus on niches”.

He advised IFAs to make sure the service they give clients corresponds with the amount of business they get from those clients.

Regulation, Cat standards and changes in pricing structures were highlighted as the catalysts for change. But Scott said IFAs should react by building their brand and by embracing technology that will reduce costs and improve service. He said the industry needs to “weed out poor standards”.

Shadow Treasury Secretary Howard Flight warned that using decision trees as a substitute for advice could leadto misselling.

He believes IFAs will have to come to terms with operating in a market where the Government regulates products.

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