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Providers have failed over consumer protection message, said NU

Protection providers have failed to get the message out to consumers about the importance of protection, according to the protection panel at Sesame’s second annual Symposium conference in London yesterday.

Speaking at the conference Norwich Union head of protection marketing Louise Colley said while protection seems to have defied the recession, policy sales are slowing. She blamed a lack of consumer understanding around price and poor messaging for the slide.

Colley said: “We’re getting our messaging wrong to customers. What we do need to do is look at how we change the messages to customers and as an industry we’ve got a challenge to change those messages.”

Panelist Zurich protection propositions and marketing director Peter Hamilton suggested using shock tactics to get the message out. He said: “Something that is hard hitting might actually shock people out of their complacency”.

Colley also said providers have failed to promote price and affordability to attract new business.

Comparing a life policy in 1970 for a single male with £100,000 sum assured, on a 25-year term was £30.90. As at today that premium would be £9.50, according to Colley.

She said: “When you ask consumers why they don’t buy protection, in the top four of those answers one is always affordability. As an industry we have failed at getting across the message of pricing. Still, customers have got no clarity around affordability and we need to address that.”


Right on the money

As the retail distribution review wrestles with the issue of IFA remuneration, many in the mortgage market believe changes are on the horizon to the way that brokers are paid.

Watch out for traps

As macro economics dominates, it is no wonder that many clients will fail to see the benefits for them. It is clear that the Chancellor, if not the Prime Minister, hopes the proximity of Christmas will mean the main beneficiaries – those on lower incomes – will feel they can again spend and this infusion of cash into the retail sector will help the country get going.

Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.


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