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Review could see Aviva trim back in the UK

Advisers expect Aviva to cut back its UK product range as the company prepares to undertake a strategic review of its worldwide businesses.

Last week, Aviva executive deputy chairman John McFarlane confirmed the provider would “sensibly” exit any businesses that do not form part of its future following the review.

He said: “We will be undertaking a strategic review of all our businesses to ensure we are focused on the right segments, that we put in place plans to advance the performance and position of our businesses strategically and exit sensibly those that are not part of our future. These will be reviewed by me and subsequently the board in June and we will provide an update to you in July.”

Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says: “I struggle to see what future Aviva has in the IFA market following the end of this year. All life insurance companies will become limited to offering rate-driven products, such as annuities and life insurance.

“When adviser-charging becomes compulsory, I can see no good reason for any IFA to use a product from Aviva or any other life company.

Unless Aviva can deliver a competitive fund supermarket or wrap platform, its role will be relegated to administering legacy products and selling some new rate-driven business.”

Radcliffe & Newlands chartered financial planner Mel Kenny says: “Taps are being turned off by the day as adviser reliance on insurers continues to decrease. Companies such as Aviva will need to concentrate on fewer things in future and be excellent at them rather than being drab, at best, across many things.”

Aviva’s interim statement for the first three months of the year, published last week, shows UK life business rose by 1 per cent to £;2.88bn from £;2.84bn in 2011.

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