Portman Building Society has chosen Norwich Union to form the investment element of its multi-tie panel following depolarisation.
Portman says it has decided to structure its business as a multi-tie operation from January 2005 with a panel of up to five providers.
NU already sells its products through Portman Financial Services and will be the sole investment provider for the Portman distribution group.
The society has assets of around £14bn, with a network of around 150 branches based predominantly in the South.
It is also in discussions with Axa as another potential partner. Portman already has a relationship with Axa following its merger in January with Staffordshire Building Society, whose salesforce is tied to Axa.
Axa Life chief executive Paul Evans says: “Axa is very supportive of this development and looks forward to building on our strong relationship with the Portman Group.”
Portman group development director Matthew Wyles says: “We have not timed this move to obtain a strategic advantage over our competitors. Our depolarisation proposals have been discussed for some time. Choice will be at the front of our proposition.”
Standard Life strategy and operations manager Ronnie Taylor says: “Depolarisation has created a change in the distribution landscape and many providers and distributors are understandably exploring the benefits of multi-ties and the new business opportunities that may arise from them.”