Skandia quits ABI over “assisted purchase” selling
by Gill Montia
Pensions and investment company, Skandia, is leaving the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The separation comes after a disagreement over the way in which financial products are sold.
The ABI is promoting “assisted purchase” as part of its response to the Retail Distribution Review.
This method of selling does not provide formal financial advice but allows consumers to consult financial experts to check whether a product is appropriate for their needs.
Skandia holds the view that “assisted purchase” can confuse consumers and claims that research shows the majority of people who buy a financial product in this way believe they have received full advice.
Selling only through independent financial advisers, Skandia says it views itself as different from more traditional life insurers.
Chief executive Nick Poyntz-Wright comments that the company believes passionately in the importance of quality advice to inform customers’ financial decisions.
According to Mr Poyntz-Wright, fewer and fewer of Skandia’s peers amongst the ABI membership share this focus.