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Provident brands may be split for consumers and brokers

Brokers have tipped Friends to become the combined group’s consumer protection brand and Resolution-owned Scottish Provident its intermediary arm.

Lifesearch head of protection strategy Kevin Carr says the Friends’ brand is better recognised by consumers, while the ScotProv brand is better known in the intermediary market.

CBK principal Peter Chadborn says if the two protection businesses do adopt a single brand, the choice could be an indication of which market the merged company will focus on.

He says: “It could be a good indication of which route to market they’ll be focussing on. If they want to focus on direct sales or multi-tied channels then perhaps they’ll use Friends but if they will be focusing on the IFA sector then they will probably use ScotProv.”

Carr says the merger would benefit advisers if Friends’ superior online systems are built into Scot Prov’s back office.

He says: “Both companies have a strong product range, particularly Scottish Provident, but some things have lagged in the past five year, since it has been in Resolution’s hands, particularly online submission and tele-underwriting which is where Friends Provident is very strong.”

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