Scottish Equitable is wading into the open annuity market, which it believes is dominated by too few players.
The open market launch follows a pilot open market option quotation system on its extranet in March, with the system now available to advisers online.
Scottish Equitable says it is keen to squeeze into the annuity market, which the ABI forecasts will reach £100bn by 2010, with the pension specialist adding in the first quarter of 2005, the top four firms commanded more than an 83% share of the OMO market.
Prior to the launch, Scot Eqonly offered annuities to its own customer base. It will initially offer conventional compulsory purchase annuities, which account for more than three quarters of the OMO market.
The firm will liase with the ceding life office as a means of time saving for advisers. It will also arrange a customer service team to provide advisers access to guidance during the transfer process.
Andy Marchant, managing director of individual pensions and investments says: “While competitive rates are key, we’ve spoken to advisers and know how important service is to them. We believe our unique conveyancing service will give us a competitive edge here.”
Earlier in the month, Scot Eq underwent a facelift of its stakeholder products for both group and individual pensions.
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