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By Laura Suter | Published Aug 22, 2012

Standard Life ends dealings with SJP partner firm

Standard Life has ended its dealings with IFA firm Policy Services Ltd, which deals exclusively with St James’s Place (SJP) partners and has told its clients find a new IFA or go direct.

Standard Life made the decision to cease dealings with Policy Services as a result of the IFA firm’s relationship with SJP, which cannot deal with the whole of the market. Policy Services handles some legacy business of SJP adviser’s clients.

In a letter to Policy Services’ clients, seen by Money Management, Standard Life wrote, “Our relationship with Policy Services Ltd has ended and we are no longer doing business with them” and goes on to say clients can either inform Standard Life of their new IFA or deal with the life insurer directly.

Ronnie Taylor, managing director of retail for Standard Life UK, said, “We’ve been in discussions with Policy Services for some time regarding their advice and client-servicing process. They’ve now confirmed to us that they operate a sub-contracting process to tied agents of another organisation who cannot advise on Standard Life products.”

He added, “This is not a decision we’ve taken lightly. Terminating an agency agreement is a very rare outcome for us.”

Policy Services was not available to comment on the issue.

Standard Life said if new adviser is appointed they can pick up the trail commission “where appropriate for the type of product they are invested in”. Clients who chose to go direct will see trail charges stopped, with Standard Life saying, “Any charges to the customer in relation to that commission have stopped.”

Sources close to the situation say this trail represents £1m a year, although this is unconfirmed. Standard Life said the detail is a “confidential matter”.

SJP said it cannot comment on the relationship between Policy Services and Standard Life. However, it said that it would continue to deal with clients who have legacy Standard Life products, just not through Policy Services.

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