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New industry body proposed

Discussions are under way about a new professional body to represent insurers who distribute via independent financial advisers (IFAs).

Monday, February 1st 2016, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Fidelity Life, Asteron Life, Partners Life and AIA all quit the Financial Services Council late last year when it released a report by actuaries Melville Jessup Weaver (MJW) that was highly critical of the IFA channel.

Sovereign and AMP had already tendered their resignations.

Now, Asteron, AIA, Partners and Fidelity have been having discussions with industry commentator and consultant and former AIA boss David Whyte about the possibility of starting a new group.

Whyte said the plan was only in its earlier stages but the insurers were interested to see whether there as the possibility of a new group taking an advocacy role for them in the industry. "They are looking to market and promote the interests of the IFA-distribution channel."

It could then take up the industry's position in discussions with the regulators, consumers and distribution associations.

He said he was hoping to put together another meeting this month but said it was too soon to say what would come of it.

"There is a lack of voice for the life industry and the distribution channel they represent. I don't think it's fair to say the MJW report caused the FSC disruption but it certainly didn't help."

He said it always seemed likely that the banks and insurers would find their paths diverged.

Whyte said he could only suggest such an association but it was up to the insurers to say that they wanted it to happen.

Tags: David Whyte Life insurance

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