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Widows Bank reviews release after losing Saga deal

Scottish Widows Bank is reviewing its equity-release business model after losing an exclusive deal to supply Saga.

Saga has signed up with Just Retirement’s multi-tie arm Just Retirement Solutions but Widows will be on JRS’s Saga panel, which started operating this week.

Widows says the major factor behind losing the £40m Saga deal is because Saga wants to sell advised products and its exclusive deal was on a non-advised basis.

Widows is also considering joining Safe Home Income Plans after coming under increasing pressure from the industry to join to provide extra consumer protection, particularly after it was ordered by the FSA in September to alter its keys facts illustration after faults were identified. However, it does not conform to all of Ship’s product guarantees, which is a requirement of membership.

Scottish Widows Bank managing director Graham Hartop says: “Saga wants to move towards advised-only business. We will keep our proposition under review and there may be changes in due course. Whether we join Ship will also be part of the discussions.

“We need to be aware of what is happening in the marketplace. The changing relationship with Saga helps us look at the marketplace as a whole.”

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