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Standard seeks to target public direct with platform

Standard Life is looking at targeting consumers directly with its platform.

At the Platform Evolution conference at the Hilton Kensington in Holland Park in London last week, head of communications Mark Polson said the firm has been conducting client research and profiling in the direct to consumer market.

He said: “We are finding there is an interesting percentage of the population who are IFA-disengaged, who simply do not want to use financial advisers and believe they can do it themselves.

“These are the kind of people who are probably buying from Hargreaves Lansdown at the moment and it is intellectually interesting to us to see if there is something we can do to attack that segment.”

Polson says Standard Life does not have any firm plans to launch a consumer offering but he added: “We might think about doing something in the future.”

But Rennison Consulting director Roderic Rennison said: “In light of what Aviva said about orphan clients, I would suggest intermediaries have every right to be quite suspicious about what the end result might be in terms of what constitutes advised and non-advised. The words from Aviva have blurred so many issues, I think there is quite a lot of explanation required.”

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Comments

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  1. Two points of view
    I think Roderic is sensible to be suspicious. Looking at it from the other perspective, if a client is already with HL, the client cannot then choose to appoint us as their agent in any meaningful way as HL do not give on-line access.
    I am not afraid of using existing clients to Std Life direct, nor competing with them for new clients. From a positive perspective, what we could see it SL marketing direct to clients who open a small ISA where the cost of advice (and regulation of advice as that is a big problem), would exceed the benefit to the client which in a few years time, is eitehr large enough or warrants advice. Provided SL are then willing to accept appointment of an IFA as agent of the client on the existing plan and allow adjustment of terms so that cost for initial and ongoinga dvice can be deducted internally, we should be fine.

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