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Skandia says providers could be jilted

Skandia is warning that some product providers look set to be “left at the altar” as they are failing to let go of commission-based models in line with the retail distribution review.

Skandia UK chief executive officer Nick Poyntz-Wright says this approach is short sighted.

He says: “The question for us is will some of the providers be left at the altar? We are seeing some providers taking a short-sighted approach and taking a more transactional approach in their platform propositions and trying to attract advisers through that route.”

Poyntz-Wright points to the news from Aviva that advisers can take up to 10 per cent commission via its newly relaunched platform. He says: “Over the past week, some of the providers who have not yet got a proposition have been making noise about their platforms and characterising them in a transactional way in terms of commission possibilities.”

“There are going to be some providers who are left exposed beyond the implementation of the RDR. We are determined not to be one of them and to benefit at their expense.”

Skandia UK chief development officer Peter Mann says that news that Standard Life is looking to return to paying commission on its personal pension is “an interesting departure”.

With life offices lining up for a slice of the corporate platform market, Skandia has yet to decide whether it will make a play for this type of business.

Poyntz-Wright does not rule out a move, although he says it is not on the cards at the moment.

He says: “It will be interesting to see how the corporate market evolves. Obviously, we have got personal accounts on the horizon. Is it a useful access point for advisers to access new clients or even existing clients in the workplace?’

Poyntz-Wright says: “We will consider those things and monitor what other players are doing. We may well look at it,but it is not the focus of our attention at the moment.”

Mann says: “It would be an odd organisation that closes their mind or their doors to any opportunity that presents itself.”

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