Royal London is positioning itself for the end of polarisation with the creation of a second tier ad...
Royal London is positioning itself for the end of polarisation with the creation of a second tier advice service which could expand to sell a range of investment and savings products from other providers.
The initial pilot project will sell products not regulated under the FSA Conduct of Business Rules, such as life assurance and general and health insurance.
If depolarisation occurs and its replacement follows the model outlined in Consultation Paper 121, the variety of products the second tier advisers can sell will be widened to long-term savings products such as investment bonds and Isas, as well as some pensions products. Gareth Evans, head of communications at Royal London, said the concept of second tier advisers was partly inspired by the Treasury's concept of a generic advice service outlined in Consultation Paper 121, aimed at broadening the availability of advice.
The restructuring of the group's sales force will also result in the cutting of a third of its direct sales force.
Of 700 FPC 3 trained advisers, the mutual is to lay off or re-deploy 250, according to Evans.
The life office, which has 3.5 million customers, is also to build up its worksite marketing capability along with its online and telephone platforms.
Evans said an increasing number of people were being excluded from financial advice, creating a natural market for a second tier advice service to operate in.
He said: 'We are very much in support of the proposals in CP 121 as we think that advice is being withdrawn from many people including fairly well to do families. We will be able to reshape our business more effectively once we know what the regulatory environment will be like after the FSA changes the polarisation rules.'
The group will be winding down its 1,000 strong industrial branch collection force that is collecting premiums from a closed book of maturing business.
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