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Royal London creating second-tier advice force

Royal London is set to pilot a new direct salesforce offering pared down advice on the back of CP121&#39s proposals for a second tier of adviser.

Initially, the salesforce will be restricted to selling non-regulated products from protection to general insurance, including third-party products. But Royal London says it is awaiting the FSA&#39s depolarisation rules which it hopes will permit the salesforce to expand its range to cover savings and pensions.

It will stand alongside Royal London&#39s current 400-strong direct salesforce which advises across its regulated product range but will have a quicker and cheaper sales process, including onward referrals if required. Royal London is recruiting for the pilot scheme which starts in July.

Oliver, Wyman & Co director Carl McNicholas, who is preparing a report on secondtier advice for the ABI, says: “Our research last year identified the importance of advice across all segments. We identified an exclusion zone at the lower end of the market and the need for persuasion in saving. There is enthusiasm across the industry for solutions like this and it is important that these theories are tested.”

Royal London retail head of communication Gareth Evans says: “Evidence points to people wanting to take advice, generally face-to-face advice.

“What is needed is salesforces which are relevant and meet consumers&#39 need – if the appropriate recommendation is for a cash Isa, it makes no sense for the sales process to take two hours.”

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