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Widows won&#39t weaken brand with other stakes

Pension firms will not sell rivals&#39 stakeholder plans because it would weaken their own brand, says Scottish Widows.

The only providers which will take advantage of phase one of the relaxation of polarisation are smaller companies that do not have their own stakeholder product, said Widows pensions strategy manager Ian Naismith.

Because of this limited take-up, Naismith believes IFAs will not be damaged by the phase one changes. But he warned that any changes made in phase two of the review could have serious implications on IFAs, with a potential loss of market share to multi-tied advisers.

Naismith told delegates at last week&#39s conference it would damage Widows brand to sell another provider&#39s products.

He said the average customer of high-street banks is not likely to go to an IFA.

Naismith said: “This is not going to have a large impact on IFAs. They will not see a big fall in business because of it. If phase two comes about however, IFAs may have much more to worry about.”

Aifa director-general Paul Smee says: “I do not think anyone who today goes to see an IFA is going to start going to see a bank because of these initial changes but it starts to confuse the consumer.”

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