Aviva launches face-to-face advice arm


Aviva is to re-enter the face-to-face advice market by the end of the year.

The inhouse team will have a “particular focus” on customers seeking advice at the point of retirement.

The team will be restricted to selling Aviva products, including flexi-access drawdown and annuities.

Aviva is the largest pension provider in the UK, following its takeover of Friends Life.

Client advice director Andy Barton says: “The introduction of the pension freedoms means that thousands of people are facing important decisions about their financial futures.

“With this in mind, we are developing an in-house advice team to complement our existing channels and provide our customers with the support they need.

“Customers can already buy our products through independent financial advisers, high street banks, and direct via the internet or over the phone, so this latest initiative will give them even greater freedom and choice.”

He adds: “We take great care to ask customers if they already have a financial adviser, and if so we recommend that they speak to them in the first instance.”

In 2014 the insurer revealed plans to restart its own advice services focused on protection.

In 2013 Aviva scrapped its direct advice arm. Amid a round of cost-cutting, the firm cut the majority of its 120 field-based advisers and ended its bancassurance relationship with Coventry Building Society.

At the time it retained around 10 advisers to continue servicing existing clients but discontinued advice for new clients.