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Reforms threaten single-tied adviser

The FSA&#39s proposed changes to polarisation will increase the competitiveness of high-street banks and force single-tied advisers out of the market, claims Datamonitor.

In a report entitled UK Bancassurance and Tied Advice, Datamonitor says adopting multi-tied status will strengthen high-street banks&#39 distribution capabilities through partnerships with life offices.

The bancassurance and tied advice channel, including direct salesforces, saw its share of life and pension business fall to 30.3 per cent in 2001 from 42.9 per cent in 1997. Its share of investment business fell to 16.1 per cent from 27.4 per cent in the same period.

Datamonitor forecasts a 16 per cent rise in bancassurers&#39 market share by 2006 if polarisation reforms allow them to offer a bigger range of products from leading providers.

Financial services analyst Darren Oliver says: “The days of tied advice through direct salesforces and tied agents look to be numbered. It would be difficult for product distribution to be based on the offering of one single company as consumers demand greater product choice.”

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