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Zurich Intl Life will pull back from EU

Zurich International Life is cutting its distribution in the European Union.

It wrote to advisers recently, telling them that it will no longer accept new individual business from any client resident in the European Union (excluding the UK and Gibraltar), Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Zurich International Solutions Europe, which was set up last year, will be used as a carrier to write business in selected EU countries. ZIL’s mandate will continue in the Far East and Middle East and advisers who want to sell Zurich products in countries where ZISE offer products have been invited to apply for a ZISE terms of business.

In a note to advisers, the firm says: “Zurich believes that the increasing complexity of regulatory regimes requires specialist carriers for specific territories and using ZIL as a single carrier for Europe, the Far and Middle East is no longer viable.”

This follows Friends Provident International’s decision earlier this year to reduce its European distribution and AES International managing director Sam Instone expects others to follow.

He says: “Taking terms of business away from unregulated financial advisers has got to be a good thing. Our concern would be that product providers withdraw from more regulated areas to focus on areas without a regulatory framework in place.”

But Skandia says it is committed to the offshore market in a number of European countries.

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