Norwich Union and Openwork agree equity release lead referral scheme

Article date: 25 October 2006

Norwich Union and the multi-tie networkOpenwork are to set up an equity release lead referral schemestarting in October. As equity release market leader, Norwich Unionis well placed to become Openwork’s referral partner.

Philip Willcock, director of business development, said: “Weare delighted to be working with Openwork and provide their clientswith access to expert equity release advice. Openwork advisers willreceive support from Norwich Union on identifying clients for whomequity release could be a viable option. We look forward to a longand productive relationship with them.”

This announcement follows the FSA’s call for intermediariesto either improve the level of equity release business they writeor refer leads to specialist providers. Large providers werehighlighted in the FSA report as providing an acceptable level ofadvice for customers who approached them directly.

Graham Angell, Openwork product proposition director, said:“With increasing numbers of clients considering equityrelease there is little doubt that the market is set to grow. Itis, however, a complex area and should be considered with care. Weare delighted to be working with Norwich Union. Given thecomplexity and sensitivity of the equity release market, we feelthat face-to-face advice is important for the majority of clients.We are delighted to be working with Norwich Union, which is themarket leader in this area.

“The Norwich Union deal comes as part of a complete overhaulof our equity release proposition, which also sees Openwork MarketSolutions offer whole of market access for those customers thatwant greater choice.”

-ends-

Press office contacts:

Norwich Union
David Gwyer 01904 452828 Out of hours 07800 699508
Cheryl Cox 01904 452791 Out of hours 07800 695275
Louise Soulsby 01904 452617

Openwork PR Manager
Ellie Waters 01793 503129

Notes to editors:

About NorwichUnion
Minimum property values apply. Norwich Union isthe market leading lifetime mortgage provider with a market shareof 30% (Source Safe Home Income Plans Q2 2006).

Norwich Union gives advice only on its own equity release products.Full written terms and conditions are available on request.

Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. It is a leadingprovider of life, pensions and investment products and one of thelargest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAs provide over 70% ofthe company's long-term savings business in the UK.

Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of images areavailable from Aviva's internet press centre atwww.aviva.com/media

Openwork
Openwork is the UK’s largeststand-alone, exclusive multi-tied, directly authorised distributionnetwork. The concept was conceived in response to the changes tothe regulatory shape of the UK life industry. Openwork has over2,370 financial advisers spread throughout the UK offering face toface advice to consumers. It offers the products of over 40 productproviders and mortgage lenders.

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