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Standard would accept business fall as it bides its time on distribution

Standard Life says it would rather take a dip in new business than rush into hasty decisions on distribution following depolarisation.

Director of corporate affairs Gordon Arthur says there is no risk in its “wait and see” approach and claims other companies are being premature in taking stakes in IFAs before they know the details of the rules after polarisation. Standard points out that it is being approached by many IFAs and is on the overwhelming majority of IFA panels.

Standard also believes that the big change for IFAs will not be multi-ties, which it claims would not substantially alter the daily load of an adviser, but the proposals for simplified advice. It believes these proposals could transform the structure of firms as well as the nature and speed of sales procedures.

Arthur says: “You do not have to be the first to lead the market, you have to do what is right for the business long term. We are not scared of a temporary dip in market share. We are confident that there will be distribution routes for our products, it is just that we cannot say what they are yet.”

Roberts Clark director Ashley Clark says: “Standard Life does not want to get into an auction. It appears that many IFAs are doing the same and will not do anything until the last minute. But we hear that providers who are approaching firms are being very choosy and attaching a lot of preconditions.”

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