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Standard reveals super clean deals; readies revamped pricing

by Jun Merrett on Sep 26, 2013 at 09:00

Standard reveals super clean deals; readies revamped pricing

Standard Life has revealed the names of seven out of the 11 fund groups which have agreed to offer super clean share classes on its platform.

The wrap has secured preferential share classes from:

  • Cazenove
  • Henderson Global Investments
  • Investec Asset Management
  • Neptune
  • Schroders
  • Standard Life Investments
  • Threadneedle Investments

It has agreed terms with four other fund groups who wished to remain unnamed until they are ready to make an announcement.

Standard said it was in the final stages of negotiations with other fund groups and claimed it was still on track to secure deals from 15 fund groups in total by the end of February 2014.

In July the wrap said it had agreed terms with 15 fund groups, but today said the delay in announcing further deals was the result of differing procedures and product development cycles for each fund group.

Standard said the discounts were valued on a total cost of ownership basis and that some fund groups were offering a lower annual management charge, some a new share class with lower additional expenses and others were replacing existing share classes with lower costs.

Standard said it would unveil its new platform pricing structure to advisers over the next month as it moves to offer bespoke pricing for each individual firm.

The platform said pricing would depend on each firm and that it would focus on its core client group which hold an average of £250,000- £300,000 on the wrap with a substantial amount in a Sipp wrapper.

Graham Dow, head of investment group relationship at Standard Life, said the move to secure super clean share classes was a ‘ground-breaking’ shift.

'This is a ground-breaking shift in fund pricing,’ he said. ‘The engagement and support we have had from all the fund groups acknowledges their clear intent to continue doing business with us on similar preferential terms to those that our customers currently enjoy.

'It is also a clear endorsement of our view that rebates are no longer sustainable in a mutual fund environment. Transparency is key in adviser charging, so it makes sense that transparency should now also extend to investment pricing.'

Click here for our definitive database on wraps.

52 comments so far. Why not have your say?

You must be joking

Sep 26, 2013 at 09:08

So... in July Standard Life was telling porkies as it hadn't agreed terms with 15 fund groups at all!

I'm not entirely convinced that the seven listed actually equate to 7 either.

Cazenove are effectively Schroders... so that brings it to 6, surely?

And Standard Life Investments is hardly a ground-breaking announcement from... erm.. Standard Life!

In reality the headline should be "Standard Life has negotiated super clean terms with five fund groups, not the 15 originally promised".

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Dolores Chimichanga

Sep 26, 2013 at 09:09

Poachers turned gamekeepers!

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David D

Sep 26, 2013 at 09:16

It will be interesting to see how unique these charges become when all the others announce their superclean prices as well.

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david mann

Sep 26, 2013 at 09:28

The fact is that these are simply the terms already in place in bundled form - SL already had some of the best rebates and are now offering them via clean share class route.

Cant see how the smaller platforms can compete - wont be on price anyway.

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Gog Taff

Sep 26, 2013 at 09:32

They can make it the best in the business and I still wouldn't use them. They have repeatedly shown they cannot be trusted with client details as they will find a reason to forget who placed the business on THEIR platform in the first place.

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Bert Poppins

Sep 26, 2013 at 09:34

Super is highly subjective word clearly.

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peter davies

Sep 26, 2013 at 09:43

Gog Taff sums it up beautifully.

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David McCabe 1

Sep 26, 2013 at 09:50

I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole. I intend to keep my independent status as long as I physically can & using a platform run/owned by a product provider just does not sit comfortably with me.

The cynic in me also wonders when they will pull the plug on advisers completely - they allegedly have a reputation for not being exactly trustworthy at times in terms of contacting clients directly......

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Hugh Jars

Sep 26, 2013 at 10:09

I say good for Standard Life, as lower charges surely filters through to meaning clients pay less...


This is also an example of more endless Fragmentation -(caused by the FCA's senseless and uneducated attack on rebates/etc ) which is leading to quite the opposite of TCF... ( Treating Clients Fairly, for the new brigade at Canary wharf, who may be unfamiliar with campaigns older than 2 yrs)

It is absolutely ridiculous that you have client A invested in a UK Growth Fund paying 1.5% AMC , in the 'OFF-Platform'' retail space of Standard Life, yet client B invested in exactly the same fund is paying 0.75% , (or lower) because his adviser has cosied-up to Standard Life and has access to the Wrap....

~Where does treating client fairly sit with all that?...... The FSA's mantra was all about treating all of your clients, equally,.... but they have caused a right pigs ear..... and the people who should be benefitting ( all clients) are in most cases losing out.....

''Four legs good, two legs even better''

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Ian Lees

Sep 26, 2013 at 10:36

Very interesting comments from all. It demonstrates a lot of people have been upset by the poor business relations form sub standard life . . . and refusal to deal with these critical points made . . .from and by their agents. The introduction of " some clean share deals", is irrelevant if the company remains unethical and unprofessional . For example the information initially provided under direction, instruction, monitoring and control of the directors of Standard Life.

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david mann

Sep 26, 2013 at 10:48

Judging by their share price and assets growth they appear to be surviving quite well, in spite of the sprinkling of new model adviser readers who don't use them!

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Hugh Jars

Sep 26, 2013 at 11:01

I use Standard Life, and like them ( a lot) but it,s frustrating, when I don't intend to exclusively use one platform ( to maintain independence) I can't get fair pricing for all clients,

Maybe better to just abandon TCF ideals (like the FCA seem to have) see if I can get a deal with SJP, where obfuscation rules, and clients only look as deep as the gilt edged brochures anyway.

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M E Too

Sep 26, 2013 at 11:26

Business partnerships only work when the outcome is win win. SL operate without integrity, turning trail off, actively encouraging clients to consider stopping trail, marketing to clients etc etc. & their claim to have 15 fund houses signed up to SC further exposes their forked tongue. Trying to buy advisers off with saving a few bps here & there can only appeal to those who can't sell the benefits of anything beyond "cheap" & are naive to boot.

Independent wraps are the only partner for me. Their technology & service is superior too & I'm spared the arrogance of life offices.

I'll remind the "cheap, cheapers" out there that if this is your argument then suggest to clients they DIY - that's cheapest of all and then figure out what you're going to do next....

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Nick H

Sep 26, 2013 at 11:30

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the trigger event aspect yet.. their announcement states:

''I would like to confirm that a conversion is considered as a legacy trigger event and will therefore stop any further trail commission being paid to you from the point of conversion. However, FundZone does support ongoing adviser charging if you need to arrange an alternative to this remuneration arrangement''

I fully agree with only getting paid for services that you provide, but we now have a big job on to revisit the clients and re-write the fees where appropriate ... .

Not to mention those clients who don't 'sign up' quickly enough - they will become fair game for Standard Life to sell to.

Hidden agenda????

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Nick H

Sep 26, 2013 at 11:31

OK - M E Too has now mentioned it!!

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Sep 26, 2013 at 11:39

"... bespoke pricing for each individual firm", eh?

That means you'll have to nail your knackers to the back of Standard Life's door if you want the best terms.

And that doesn't look very comfortable to me.

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Yaya Toure's wallet

Sep 26, 2013 at 11:53

Clearly this offer seems far from perfect...

Standard Life announce only 5 in effect fund groups who will offer 'super' clean share classes. How 'super' will this be and how far ranging, within their entire fund portfolio too is the important point here. If a fund group has 30 funds and only 4 (say) have 'super'status then the headline seems more important than the detail. How relevant will those 4 (say) be within your entire client portfolio to then go with Standard Life?

It also is intriging that Standard Life can offer their own funds on a 'super' basis but Architas, (Elevate) and 7IM (7IM) cannot on their own wraps offer discounts. I cannot see much difference here or am I missing something?

Standard Life may well offer attractive discounts but they could be 'lost' within the total cost of ownership if their platform fees are unattractive, since your client does not fit their model client scenario of £250,000 in a SIPP!

I prefer a wrap which does not distinguish between SIPP, (for their own profit) and other tax wrappers and indeed is not attempting to promote their own 'super' funds!!!

Moreover with regard to Standard Life, then given their geography and the small matter of the Scottish Referendum in less than a year, are we not taking a political risk in situating English & Welsh clients assets north of the border in what may well prove to be a different political/taxation/investment/regulation/currency/interest rate area in the VERY near future?

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David Ferguson

Sep 26, 2013 at 11:58

I don't know if it's of interest but as background only one of these groups appears in Nucleus' top 10 biggest fund groups (in fifth place).

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Chris D Stapleton

Sep 26, 2013 at 12:07

I go along with the 'I don't trust this company' brigade. It always seems to me that Standard Life seem to be trying to be ahead of the curve on all aspects of charging and compliance which is fine. Then they shoot themselves in the foot time and again by trying to undermine the adviser with the client.

Hidden agenda, seems like it!!

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peter davies

Sep 26, 2013 at 12:14

20 Scathing comments on Standard Life by 12 noon. If we throw some more life companies into the pot for comments - such as Reassure, Friends Life, Aegon, and AXA - I reckon we might get 2,000 posts on here by the end of the day!

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Ian Lees

Sep 26, 2013 at 12:16

@ David Fergusson . . .That may be due to the work and due diligence of Nucleous - and their support staff. Companies with managed funds often just want a " name " rather than check out the underlying fund or company . . .selling the Brand rather than due diligence carried out by . . . . . Nucleous and other independent wrap accounts. I favour wrap accounts and doing business with Independent wraps rather than insurance company sponsored hybrids - run for the benefit of the insurance company - rather than service for an Independent Adviser - or for the benefit of the client.

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Ian Lees

Sep 26, 2013 at 12:20

@ hugh Jars . . . SO! . . . . your the one ?

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Ian Lees

Sep 26, 2013 at 12:29

ONe issue for these old style with profits companies . . .is their failure to recognise changes . . .or adapt ( E.G Standard Life Scottish Widows Aviva Equitable Life . . ..) which is a " Polaroid moment ", Clinging on to old and mainly obsolete ways - with their arrogance toward their sales force IE IFA's and Brokers - because they talk down to them . . .and have not yet discovered that many paraplanners and their administrators . . . .are much better qualified than these dozy directors and poor quality of management. They still try to get their products to shoehorn into Financial Planning rather than provide any reasonable or serviceable product. Stranded Life and their cartel in Edinburgh . . . need to sell Products. For example Standard Life's attempts to buy into IHT Planning and did not recognise that Estate Planning is the requirement - not a wee bond and an insurance company trust . . . .When they work out they might be able to provide quality of knowledge or service or a product . . .Financial Planners might be more likely to use them . . . until then we will receive a constant stream of misleading information and claims . . . . to keep their name in front of everyone - no matter what the quality of the information is.

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Hugh Jars

Sep 26, 2013 at 12:31

@ Peter Davies, It would appear you've included my 2 comments within your calculation of 20 'scathing ' comment on standard life My gripe isn't with SL.....

it's the crazy uneven playing field the FSA created, by sticking their noses into to Rebates etc... it's only natural the market forces are putting downward pressure on TER's AMC's etc..

My gripe is the fall-out from all of this *hite, whereby some clients are getting much much more favourable terms than others for the same thing.

The dynamics of Adviser /Provider relationships is something completely different and separate... after all, the folk who have a gripe with providers can vote with their feet, and avoid 'Life Offices' in favour of ''Independent '' platforms....

@ Yaya.... Do you seriously think the Porridge Goblers are going to vote yes in the majority?... FFS, once someone points out in quantified real numbers that their dole, and free dinners would be under threat they'll run a mile from the yes vote

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Ian Lees

Sep 26, 2013 at 12:32

@ Peter Davies . . . there are on 20 scathing comments because the other adviser . . .is . . . . out working. You only need to add Tenet ( owned by Stranded Life, Aviva Friends Life and Aegon ) - and you have a One Size Fits All - An insurance company . . . ." Onesey " . . . . .

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Hugh Jars

Sep 26, 2013 at 12:36

@ Ian Lees, - yes I'm the One !

I try to give a reasonably balanced opinion, and all factual- nothing anecdotal.

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Hugh Jars

Sep 26, 2013 at 12:38

@ Ian Lees.

Do you use voice recognition software to do your typing?.... You seem to like to get a bit of regular blog content down on herer.... who writes your business up for you?

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Ian Lees

Sep 26, 2013 at 12:40

@ Mr or Mrs . . . Ya Ya tourey . . . you may find those nice people North of the Border .. . . are allowing England . . .to have their own Independence, and may stop paying the imposed . . .. English Tax . . . . .

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Robin Goodfellow II

Sep 26, 2013 at 12:51

Hugh Jars - thank you for the blatant racism, always nice to see - obviously your pseudonym has been chosen to match your personality...

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Yaya Toure's wallet

Sep 26, 2013 at 13:06

@ Hugh Jars (?) - The polls suggest a NO vote - you are correct, but you never know? Certainly the Barnet Formula suggests that they do better out of it than us (English) financially. However it is not just a financial decision - emotion and history will obviously play a part, which is why 2014 is the year of the vote and why also 16 & 17 years are being allowed to vote, as they are more likely to be ill informed of the facts perhaps!

If the Scots stay perhaps the English and Welsh could have their own vote on keeping them?

@ Ian Lees - all tax is imposed, just that more is raised South of the border and more spent north of the border - per capita.

Seriously however a separate country with its own full regulatory regime and tax policy will create uncertainty and so if a client in England or Wales is invested with a company tax resident and therefore I guess regulatory resident north of the border in Scotland, presents a risk.

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Ian Lees

Sep 26, 2013 at 13:08

@ Huge Jars .. . Aye ! I use voice recognition software so that ewe can unnerstan' me This is because I have a face for Radio . . . and am only don here on missionary work.

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David Hayden

Sep 26, 2013 at 13:10

Ian Lees


And they're not independent, the major shareholder is Sanlam, a product provider with an advice arm!!!! Does this make them the devil too?

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Sep 26, 2013 at 13:12

So let's say 15% of my client's portfolio holds funds from one of these fund groups and the average "extra discount" is 10bps - that will reduce the overall portfolio charge by 1.5bps. Hardly a reason to get excited.

Investec have already announced that they are willing to offer their "super dooper clean" share classes to selected other platforms. Are any of these actually "exclusive" deals with Standard Life?

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Hugh Jars

Sep 26, 2013 at 13:29

@Ian Lees;

There's definitely a wee touch of Mel Gibson, in yer transcriber, ken.


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Ian Lees

Sep 26, 2013 at 13:31

@David Hayden . . . thank you for correcting my spelling . . . for your information I nearly wrote it down as " Knuckeleous ". At least - the misspelling ( or punktuation) had no effect on the point being put over . . . .unlike the misspelling under other hybrid wrap accounts . . .and missselling . . .

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David Hayden

Sep 26, 2013 at 13:34

You didn't answer my question?

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Ian Lees

Sep 26, 2013 at 13:40

@Ya Ya tour eh .. you may well be right ! ya ! ya ! I have nothing to contradict you. However, given the Lloyds TSB head office is Henry Duncan House, George Street ( which a future king was named after ? ) Edinburgh, the RBS ( the Robbing Bank of Scotland head office is Edinburgh, Bank of Scotland head office is The Mound Edinburgh - Clydsdale Bank and Adams & Co Head Office Edinburgh . . . .you may find your money ( tax etc., ) is routed through Edinburgh . . .where we spend it for and on your behalf - e g Scottish Parliament . . Put simply Edinburgh frees up your money . . . .( and mine ) - and now Edinburghs banks . . .are heading South Bank of Scotland into hthe Leeds Building Society Head office Halifax has a head office in England in t midlands and Scottish WIdows are taking over Old Broad Street London . . . . Williams and Glyn are owned by a Scottish bank and Barclays owned by the middle east ( and Sir Hector Sants )

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Glint Thrust via mobile

Sep 26, 2013 at 14:53

Why the race to the bottom on charges. Turkeys voting for Xmas.

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David Ferguson

Sep 26, 2013 at 15:10

@David Hayden - amidst the increasingly bizarre direction of this discussion I thought I should confirm that (previously and at this time) Sanlam is 'a' but not 'the' major shareholder in Nucleus. Let me know if more information might be useful.


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Leviathan via mobile

Sep 26, 2013 at 15:22

Re charges

HL typical TER. 2.2 No advice

SJP. 2.4. Advice.

Both massively successful businesses,who are very likely to still be here in 10 years' time.

Anything less than 2% is simply not viable,with advice,long term.


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Hugh Jars

Sep 26, 2013 at 15:50

@ Robin Goodfellow II - racism? WTF?

Porridge Goblers is amerely a term of endearment,- I love the scots, and if Hadrian's wall were re-erected, I'd choose to live north of it,

Dole /Free Dinners ? Not racist, just stating the obvious,- apologies to any scots, who thought I was being defamatory.

RE pseudonym, mine is no more bizarre a choice than your's :-)

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Christopher Petrie

Sep 26, 2013 at 16:37

Sorry to come back to the topic, but isn't this announcement from SL just saying "we've done some small deals with 5 other companies, and they will be offering very slightly lower charges in due course"?

And in the meantime, those same 5 other groups are likely to offer similar terms to many other platforms.

It all seems quite small beer to me, unless I've missed something?

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David Hayden

Sep 26, 2013 at 21:40

@David Ferguson

Perhaps I should have said "major" rather than "main" as per your website.

To be honest, it's beside the point.

I have a long career in financial services left, decades.

What frustrates me is the (and I quote) bizarre direction that these blogs take. Illiterate ramblings in the public domain will push people away from financial planning and towards execution only providers.

I like Standard Life, I also accept that CoFunds have merit to their proposition despite L&G having a direct to customer arm. Ascentric have their positive points despite Royal London having a direct to customer heritage.

Nucleus are consistently praised as the advisers friend despite the fact that the "major" shareholder has an advisory proposition. Zurich, Aegon, Aviva, FFN, basically every platform has a multi channel strategy linked to them in one way or another whether that is an advisory or direct to customer basis.

Companies (platform providers) need to hedge their bets from both a new business and retention perspective in order to generate the profits required to continually develop their proposition.

The alternative is to let customers read the contents of a citywire blog, disengage because the people contributing can't spell, increase the already healthy profits of Hargreaves Lansdown and I find a new industry to build a career in.

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Sep 26, 2013 at 21:44

Standard Life

Please do ALL of us readers a BIG favour and give Ian Lees an agency, it will benefit all in the long run.

Thank you

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Dolores Chimichanga

Sep 27, 2013 at 07:31


Can I recommend Billy for a knighthood.

Thank you.

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Hugh Jars

Sep 27, 2013 at 08:56

@David Hayden, It saddens me to see someone being so needlessly judgmental on the short-comings of others' literary prowess.

Particularly when your posts are riddled with grammatical faux-pas

Why do you repeatedly avoid hyphenating basic compound-adjectives?

taken from your post at 21.40 yesterday ;

I have a long career in financial services, should read;

I have a long-career in financial services,



What frustrates me is the (and I quote) bizarre direction that these blogs take.

Illiterate ramblings,

should read;

What frustrates me is the (and I quote) bizarre-direction that these blogs take.

Illiterate- ramblings


advisers friend,

should be:

advisers' friend,

Glass- Houses and all that........

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David Hayden

Sep 27, 2013 at 09:15

Dear Hugh Jars.


What I actually said was that:

I have a long career in financial services left, decades.


I have a long career in financial services,

A very different meaning.

My "bizarre direction" point was a quote lifted directly from David Ferguson so perhaps you should address your teaching method to him.

Again, all besides the point.

Feel free to continue to paint a negative picture of financial services in the public domain. That will help keep clients and potential clients happy in what is a very easy regulatory environment.

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Phil castle via mobile

Sep 27, 2013 at 10:19

Shouldn't we paint financial services as a true picture, not a good or a bad one?

The 00's were proven to be a severe case of the Emperor's New Clothes.

One of the reasons why being child like in ones questioning is useful, I.e. asking WHY is it challenges incorrect pre conceptions.

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Ian Lees

Sep 27, 2013 at 12:05

I would also like to recommend Billy for a knighthood, but so many have been discarded. However, I would like to have an unethical company like sub standard life . . . to " give " me an agency . . .I would have to put that down on the " Bribery Register ", under FCA Rool's .. . . Would I want my client subjected to unethical practices of sub stranded life ? Non Mercy !

What I would like is my full Pension form the Trustees of Scottish Widows Retirement Benefits Scheme . . . .and THAT should not be long now ? ? ? ?

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Mr Balis

Sep 30, 2013 at 08:49

Is kind of tirying to listen to the same all singer singing the same all songs....

Has anybody noticed that SL is no longer an insurance company and all its insurances are Pru??

People seem to be living in the past....

Beside, as someone suggested.....if they are doing so great and incorporating some of the bisggest IFA in uk (the one that actually have no time to have a spat in here) they must be doing something right ....


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M E Too

Sep 30, 2013 at 09:15

@mrbalis - as you quite rightly demonstrated we are all entitled to comment, however, did you write your comment with sleep in your eyes........?

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Ian Lees

Sep 30, 2013 at 11:08

If these really are Standard Life's . . " new super clean deals ", I welcome them.

However, my concerns are . . .concerns I have raised previously . . .The REALITY of the Costs previously . . .including several repeated claims . . .. This is about openness and transparency - rather than Super Headlines . . .IE Telling them like it is !

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