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NU is quick off the mark with Sandler savings plan

Norwich Union has become one of the first providers to offer a Sandler-style medium-term savings product.

The Sandler suite, which includes a pension, medium-term investment fund and child trust fund charged at 1.5 per cent, came into force yesterday.

NU’s plan will be available for IFAs to sell through the light-touch regime of basic advice.

It has a minimum regular or single premium of 20 with no maximum. Annual charges are capped at 1.5 per cent for 10 years and 1 per cent thereafter.

The product is designed for a savings period of between five and 15 years but there are no minimum or maximum terms.

The fund meets stakeholder requirements which limit equity exposure to 60 per cent.

Director of product strategy Simon Quick says. “The product is easily available and gives the consumer flexibility in terms of the amount, length of time and how they wish to save, either through investing on a regular monthly basis or with ad hoc lump sums.”

But Professional Partnerships financial planner Edward Nice is concerned that there is a danger the product could be missold. He says: “I am not sure how well an unqualified adviser – who is not even required to have FPC1 – will deal with questions about the split between equities and corporate bonds.

“I am worried about confused or misinformed consumers taking out these products which are still, after all, up to 60 per cent in equities when people with smaller levels of savings are actually less likely to be tolerant of falls in the values of their investments.”

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