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Pru and AbbeyNat in distribution link-up

Prudential and Abbey National are setting out their stall ahead of depolarisation with a deal to sell each other&#39s products.

Under the agreement, Abbey will initially white-label the Pru with-profits bond until depolarisation, after which it will retain the Pru branding.

The Pru will cease to manufacture protection products and instead white-label Abbey National-owned Scottish Provident&#39s products after depolarisation. The companies have promised each other market-leading commission.

As result of the deal, Abbey National Life has now been closed to new business.

Prudential will allow Abbey to sell a £750m tranche of the Pru bond to 15 million customers through its 756 branches and telephone salesforce.

Pru says the deal builds on current distribution arrangements for the Pru bond with Bradford & Bingley and Woolwich IFA.

Abbey National for Intermediaries director of sales and marketing Ambrose McGinn says: “In a retail bank, people expect to be able to offer other brands too. Now Abbey National can take advantage of the brand strength and manufacturing capacity of the Pru.”

Prudential UK chief executive Mark Wood says: “We are looking to do two or three more such deals. We are gaining market share in the flight to quality. We have anticipated CP121 and see greater market share going to the banks.”

Laird Financial Planning senior partner Steve Laird: “It seems bizarre for Abbey to be marketing the Pru bond rather than its own in-house offering. It suggests it does not like the risks associated with writing with-profits business. It means more confusion for the consumer in the intervening period before the new rules.”

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