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Friends Provident axing appointed rep channel

Life and pensions provider Friends Provident has announced plans to close its appointed representative distribution channel, which currently comprises around 200 mortgage advisers.

Friends Provident made the decision to axe the appointed representative (AR) channel, which comprises approximately 200 registered mortgage advisers operating out of 109 firms, as it currently contributes less than 1% of the company’s UK new business sales. The closure also reflects a trend in the market, as shown by the majority of life companies closing their AR operations.

Compared to the poor performance of the AR channel in terms of new business sales, over three quarters (80%) of Friends Provident’s life protection business is transacted through the independent financial adviser (IFA) market, and increasing levels of business are also flowing in from banks and buildings societies.

The decision is likely to affect up to 90 roles within Friends Provident, based across the UK. Friends Provident said that it has been in consultation with trade union Amicus and will be working with any staff affected.

Friends Provident has also agreed a deal with Intrinsic Financial Services under which appointed representatives will have the opportunity to transfer to Intrinsic.

The closure of the AR channel is expected to take effect by the end of the year.