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ScotProv cuts rates as protection war looms

Scottish Provident has cut premiums as it prepares to fight off competition from Scottish Life&#39s new protection business.

The move comes after several key staff left ScotProv to join its new rival.

ScotLife last week confirmed it is launching a standalone protection business, naming an executive team of six people, all former ScotProv employees. They include former ScotProv head of marketing and business development David Robinson and product marketing manager Roger Edwards.

Just days before the announcement, Abbey National issued a formal warning to ScotLife&#39s owners, Royal London, not to poach any more of its staff because of contractual agreements made in the bidding for ScotProv.

Lawyers from both parties are in discussions over the issue. ScotLife, however, is dismissing Abbey&#39s concerns, saying it has recruited staff by fair means using an agency which has chosen the best candidates from many applications.

Recent recruitment advertisements for ScotLife have appeared in the Scottish press carrying the statement: “There are no barriers to applicants from any company or sector.”

Most of ScotProv&#39s rate cuts have come in accelerated critical-illness policies. For example, on a 10-year £150,000 single-life decreasing term policy for a 40-year-old non-smoking male, the monthly rate has fallen to £28.01 from £33.41.

Product manager Claire Williams says: “We have not had a rate cut in this area for some time and felt our position had been getting less competitive. The rate cut is an attempt to get back our competitive position.”

ScotLife head of communications Alasdair Buchanan says: “We are confident we have acted appropriately throughout and will continue to do so.”

Scottish Life appointments, p9; Profile, p39

The Women&#39s IFA Group got off to a strong start last week as 130 female IFAs from all over the country attended its launch at Framlington&#39s offices in the City of London.

Speaking at the launch, Wig chairwoman Fiona Price claimed nearly one in 10 female IFAs was present and announced plans for regional meetings and a dedicated internet site.

Sponsorship means that membership and attendance at events will be free.

Price is pictured (left) with head of Bloomberg European television Bronwyn Curtis, who was a guest speaker at the launch.

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