BT Financial Group has announced its intention to expand the number of insurers available through its APL from one to three by March 2018.
In response to questions from ifa, the company issued a statement confirming Westpac Life was currently the only insurer listed on the APL for BT's bank channel financial advisers.
BT general manager for advice and private wealth Jane Watts said the firm has “an easy off APL process” for advisers to recommend products not listed, and that the company was “confident” its advisers are able to meet their clients’ needs under this system.
Nevertheless, the company acknowledged the move towards offering more products formally through its APL.
“Ensuring clients have high quality cover that meets their needs has always been the priority,” Ms Watts said.
“We will be going through a rigorous selection process supported by independent input to make sure the insurance options on our APL meet the demands we expect around the quality of product we recommend to our clients.”
The statement follows ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell’s comments on APLs before the parliamentary joint committee on corporations and financial services last week.
“I’m not sure that I can confirm that BT and Westpac only have one [insurer on their APL] … I think we’d be a little surprised but we can take that under notice,” Mr Kell said told the joint commission when asked about the range of insurers available to advisers within the Westpac network.
Mr Kell told the joint commission that ASIC did not believe there must be a set number of products available on a particular APL, but that there is a consumer expectation that advisers will be able to choose from multiple products.
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