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Standard looks to set up with-profits switch deals

Standard Life is looking at ways of enabling disgruntled with-profits policyholders to switch out of their schemes into better-performing products.

The firm says this is in recognition of the fact that many of its 2.5 million with-profits policyholders are not satisfied with the product or it is no longer appropriate for them, given the shift in asset mix over the years.

Standard is obviously keen to keep these customers and says if they are to exit its with-profits fund, then it is better if they move into another product in-house.

This could involve pen-alty-free switches into its mutual fund range.

A raft of bonus cuts have hammered investors’ savings in the past three years and the relatively low equ-ity exposure of the with-profits fund does not augur well for future growth.

The plans are very much in their formative stages and are not likely to come to pass until after Standard demutualises.

In the meantime, the firm is hoping that stockmarket growth will erode the unit price adjustments, equivalent to MVRs, that many customers would face upon exit.

Spokesman Scott White says: “If customers are disaffected with with-profits, rather than lose them to another provider, we would rather offer them something different.”

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