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Third-way annuity firms plan trade body

Variable annuity providers are looking to create a UK trade body to represent their interests.

Firms such as Lincoln Financial Group, The Hartford and MetLife brought guaranteed products to the UK in 2006 after success in the US.

Most providers are members of the Association of British Insurers but Lincoln head of products and marketing Simon O’Connor says the firms also want a group that speaks specifically for players in the variable annuity market.

It is likely to resemble the Association of Member Directed Pension Schemes which represents Sipp providers such as AJ Bell and Hornbuckle Mitchell.

O’Connor says: “We are working towards the creation of a trade group like the body for Sipp providers. Like Sipp providers, third-way providers have a lot in common but they all have slightly different products. We have been around for a little while now, so I think it is time we had a group to represent our interests in the market.”

Hargreaves Lansdown pensions analyst Nigel Callaghan says: “If these firms increasingly speak with one voice, their message will be clearer. A trade body should go some way to improving their situation but I believe they have an uphill battle.”

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