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‘Two-star Clerical needs an overhaul’

HBOS chief says there is opportunity to grow but focus must be kept

HBOS says it needs to overhaul Clerical Medical to realise its potential as it ranks the firm at only two stars at present.

It says Clerical needs to improve communication with brokers to highlight the strengths of the brand in the investment and pension markets.

HBOS intermediary distribution and specialist banking managing director Philip Grant believes Clerical has not got its message across in the same way as the company’s five mortgage brands.

In 2004, then HBOS chief executive James Crosby said Clerical was to be the focus of plans to become the undisputed number one for investment products and to put clear distance between HBOS and Aviva and Grant is set to continue that drive. Grant says: “We are focusing on where we need to improve Clerical from a two-star service proposition at the moment. There is opportunity for Clerical to grow but it must retain its focus. There is a huge amount of planning from the model we have developed across the mortgage proposition about ease of business and clarity of products and relationship management with key intermediaries.

“There are some great synergies we can get from best practice in our mortgage brands where we have developed ease of business across our five brands. People understand the brands in the mortgage space and our strengths and there is a lot we can do to communicate where Clerical’s strengths lie.

“It is a case of refreshing advisers’ minds about the defining characteristics of the brand and communicating its strengths to IFAs and where we make changes we have to be clear. There will be work to make sure that we have the right people talking to intermediaries.”

Grant interview, p13

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