The savings and investments firm Skandia will probably leave the Association of British Insurers (ABI) because of a dispute over sales techniques .
Skandia prefers to use independent financial advisors to promote its products, rather than selling directly which is the method used by other members of the association. However, there has recently been a proposition by the ABI to introduce “assisted purchase” techniques among members whereby products would be sold to customers through consultation with an expert. This is a process which has similarities to traditional independent financial advice .
Skandia feels that this technique blurs the boundaries between sales and advice too much and that it has “little alignment” with other ABI members over this issue.
Chief executive Nick Poyntz-Wright said: “We offer our investment solutions only through financial advisers because we believe passionately in the importance of quality advice to guide and support customers’ financial decisions. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer of our peers amongst the ABI membership share our focus on the advice sector. The time has come for us to step away.”