27 November 2012
RDR is 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity' says Standard Life UK chief exec

Speaking at the ABI Retail Distribution Review Conference today, Paul Matthews, Standard Life UK and Europe Chief Executive, told delegates that we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to re-shape our industry.

Matthews said: "At its best financial advice delivers something that is very much in short supply - confidence and optimism for the future. Advisers and providers need to work harder than ever to deliver this, but arguably we've never been in a better position to deliver it with better technology, professional standards and transparency set against the recognition that borrowing more can never be the answer.

"I see the changes being made by the regulator as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-shape our industry to deliver outstanding outcomes for customers. But we need to work together.

"There is a lot to do and we need to recognise that customers demand multiple solutions and access through many different routes. We need to co-exist in a mature manner. We are at a crossroads. We can work together to deliver greater access, engagement and value for consumers, but if we allow self-interest to dominate and do not grasp this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the results for all, particularly the customer, will be extreme for some sections of society."

Matthews continued: "Customers will decide which channels they want to engage with and how. They don't see that different channels are in competition with each other, and neither should we. Our role is to bring down the barriers between channels, and help them make informed choices to get the best possible outcome. We believe the savings gap can only be addressed by a multi-channel approach, which means:

  1. Using technology and developing tools to allow and support self-direction.
  2. Making the workplace a key channel for younger consumers in the accumulation phase of their financial plans
  3. Facilitating access to professional advice through all channels for consumers that need it.

"Advisers are likely to be focussing where the need and value for advice is greatest, which in many cases could be the consolidation and retirement phases of their financial plans. With 300,000 baby boomers now retiring every year, there is an enormous opportunity for advisers to capitalise on."

For a full transcript of Paul Matthew's speech click here.


For further information, please contact:

Claire Burston
Direct: 0131 245 5078
Mobile: 07738 301 004
Email: claire_burston@standardlife.com
Twitter: @sl_press

Notes to Editors

Standard Life has a dedicated area on Adviserzone with details and support for advisers in the run up to RDR - www.adviserzone.com/rdr

Established in 1825, Standard Life is a leading long term savings and investment company, with around six million customers worldwide. By understanding and offering innovative products to meet its customers' needs, Standard Life helps people with their financial planning, so they can feel more confident about the future.

Standard Life offers a range of individual and group pensions, SIPPs, ISAs, annuities, life assurance, offshore bonds, investment management, wealth management, tax planning and estate management services.

Standard Life is headquartered in Edinburgh and employs around 9,000 people across the UK, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, India, USA, Hong Kong and mainland China. At the end of September 2012 the Group had total assets under administration of over £211bn.

Standard Life plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has approximately 1.5 million individual shareholders in over 50 countries around the world.

You can follow Standard Life press office (@sl_press) on www.twitter.com/sl_press

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