An online tool to promote local whole of market advice for annuity purchase has been launched by an IFA.
Advisers who register with the Open Market Option Bureau will have access to new customer leads within 25 miles of their businesses.
The service also includes a not-for-profit media account which aims to generate 25,000 new annuity business leads a year for advisers through advertising initiatives. The bureau will cover the whole market and can accommodate both larger firms and sole practitioners.
Bernard Down, director of the Open Market Option Bureau said the tool had a clear role to play as take-up of the Open Market Option remained low.
"The benefits for advisers and consumers are clear - research shows 40% of those buying annuities are not aware of their options and less than 30% take up the open market option. However 80% of those who seek advice take up the open market option" he said.
Advisers will pay £25 a month towards collective advertising and £40 for every lead the bureau forwards.
Down added: "There is huge pressure from regulators to ensure take up of advised open market option increases. Advisers have a crucial role to play in ensuring that annuity customers receive the best possible deal, but risk being left behind as execution-only services and comparison websites fight for business.
"By ensuring every penny of the £25 monthly licence fees from hundreds of advisers are added together in the Media Account to buy internet, press, radio and television advertising, the Open Market Option Bureau enables advisers to help themselves to compete on a level playing field."
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