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Standard concern at business outflow

A leaked memo from Standard Life has revealed the extent of the company’s concerns about lost business since flotation.

It was sent to an IFA to justify guidance sent by the firm to with-profits customers since December 2006, entitled, Moving away could damage your wealth.

The candid email admitted that the company has been losing a lot of business since demutualisation.

It also warned about the possibility of misselling arising from the transfers, saying: “We do not want a repeat of the endowment and final-salary pension transfer situation.”

Research by Standard covering 500 customers who had switched showed 92 per cent had been advised by IFAs while 37 per cent did not know they had a guarantee.

The move has been criticised for undermining IFAs and follows the introduction of commission on transfers between its personal pensions and Sipps.

Spokesman Peter Timberlake says: “Churning is an industry issue. There is nothing wrong in highlighting opportunities at Standard Life. The with-profits guides are not designed to interfere with IFAs but to protect all parties where clients forget what they are giving up.”

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