Lifesearch has raised concerns Friends Provident's agreement to sell life assurance through John Lewis will not meet 'treating customers fairly' requirements.
The comments come after Friends Provident announced it will offer life assurance policies through John Lewis’ direct services company, Greenbee, from 2007.
The provider’s term assurance will be available through Greenbee’s online service, by phone and through a bi-monthly magazine called Source, which will be distributed through John Lewis department stores and Waitrose.
Simon Clamp, marketing and UK distribution managing director at Friends Provident, says Greenbee is intending to distribute the product on an execution-only basis.
In light of criticisms about non-advised sales of protection products, Clamp says the method of distribution depends on the complexity of the product.
He states: “Greenbee will only be selling term assurance and it will be sold in a clear and transparent way.”
But Kevin Carr, head of protection strategy at Lifesearch, says to sell protection in a clear and transparent way without advice, the seller should ensure three things:
- The consumer is aware of the Financial Ombudsman Service (Fos) and their relevance to the purchase;
- The consumer is aware their right to seek compensation is greatly reduced when they do not take advice; and
- The consumer is aware potentially more suitable products may exist elsewhere.
He adds: “If they fail on any one of these then they are not treating customers fairly. If they do achieve each one of these then they will be the first non-adviser in the UK to do so.”
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Emily Perryman on 020 7968 4554 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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