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Turn-round as IFAs back move to rethink status

IFAs have overwhelmingly backed Standard Life&#39s decision to consider demutualisation despite having championed its policyholders&#39 rejection of a carpetbagging attempt three years ago.

Seventy-three per cent of respondents in a poll of 117 Positive Solutions RIs say they endorse the move, a massive reversal from early 2000 when 89 per cent of IFAs supported policyholders who voted for Standard&#39s mutuality.

The majority of Assureweb users have also thrown their weight behind Standard&#39s latest decision, with 68 per cent of the 75 RIs questioned saying they back the life office.

There are discrepancies between the polls about Standard&#39s £30bn with-profits fund, however. Fifty-six per cent of Positive Solutions RIs say they will not transfer clients from the fund (44 per cent say they might) while only 48 per cent of Assureweb RIs agree. The same number – 48 per cent — admit they will consider shifting clients while the remaining 4 per cent say they have yet to decide.

Both polls reveal that IFAs are unlikely to shun Standard as a company, with 85 per cent of Positive Solutions RIs and 68 per cent of Assureweb RIs saying they will consider placing new business with the life office.

Positive Solutions says IFAs&#39 about-face on demutualisation shows the impact of tough new accountancy and solvency rules.

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