Sun Alliance to sell wares at post offices
Wednesday 08 February 1995
Post Office Counters, the retail arm, said the aim of the cooperation with Sun Alliance is to enable it to become a leading player in the UK general and life insurance market.
The two groups are concluding detailed market analysis about what products will sell best, and expect to have a couple of products on trial by the end of the year.
"With our network of 20,000 post offices throughout the country, we are in a unique position, with a very strong competitive advantage in distribution," said a Post Office spokeswoman.
As competition rages fast and furious among the big insurance players, and the life insurance industry suffers from a generally poor image at the moment, the winning of the PO's business is regarded as something of a coup for Sun Alliance. "It is not as if there is a lack of distribution in Britain, but the important thing here is that Post Office channels could be cheaper, offering a winning edge," said Stephen Dias of Goldman Sachs.
But yesterday's announcement prompted concern at the Consumers Association, already worried at the PO's move into financial services. "We have been concerned about the quality of post office counter service, and in particular the quality of advice they give. The more complex the service, the less able the staff have been to handle it," said Stephen Locke, director of policy at the Consumer Association.
Sun Alliance said that if its market research encourages it to offer life insurance products that entail giving advice, then "these people will have to be properly trained and all requirements of the Financial Services Act will be complied with".
Yesterday's move is the most significant so far in the Post Office's efforts to diversify its business, now that the Government has shelved plans for its privatisation.
The liberalisation began last year when Post Office Counters Ltd, which runs Post Office outlets, was given wider powers by the Government to take on other business.
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...