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Skipton cuts tie with NU and doubles its IFAs

Skipton Building Society is severing its tie with Norwich Union and changing the status of 40 of its 105 authorised representatives currently working in its branches to IFAs.

The move doubles the number of RIs in its IFA division, Skipton Financial Services, to 80.

As part of a shake-up of its entire distribution strategy, the remaining 65 appointed reps are being offered positions selling mortgages and other non-regulated products or as branch managers. Some are expected to join the new non-regulated 80-strong salesforce or the specialist mortgage sales arm which is being increased from eight to 30 advisers.

Skipton says the changes are intended to cut costs and increase productivity as it copes with changes in the market, including increased regulation, by creating a more specialised sales and management structure.

It says the changes are not in direct response to the FSA&#39s proposals to end polarisation but claims that it is now in a good position to adapt to a different regulatory environment.

Sales and marketing director Alan Scotter says: “CP121 is not the reason this plan was worked out but Skipton Financial Services will adapt to suit the outcome as all options are open to us.”

Norwich Union spokes-man James Evans says: “We are disappointed to no longer be a tied partner but are looking to develop a relationship with their IFA salesforce as we are a leading supplier to the sector.”

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