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I will lead push to boost ASU uptake

The small minority of brokers who moan about the concept of Treating Customers Fairly annoy me. The Arthur Daleys do not belong in our industry.

But without going so far as to say there are still many Daleys around I wonder if most brokers are treating clients fairly, based on the decrease in ASU sales. It would be easy to point the finger at anti-ASU lobbyists making it more difficult to sell with their negative publicity but it’s time for a unified front.

Writing about ASU over the years I have used many analogies to convey the benefits but the most effective has been, “Imagine buying a car without brakes”. Just as brakes can save your car in times of trouble so ASU can save your home in times of financial difficulty. In my experience the average broker goes about their business in an indifferent way whereby they sell a mortgage and then try to bolt on various insurances.

It’s a bit like selling the car then trying to sell the brakes that go with it as an option. ASU is not for everyone but it is for a lot of clients being sold mortgages right now. My mission this week is to stem the tide of negative publicity on ASU and suggest ways to do this. Just as I called for unification of brokers and lenders to convey a general message to consumers regarding the benefits of remortgaging, so a similar call goes out to ASU providers. It makes sense to pool the advertising and marketing resources of all providers to convey a general message: “Protect your greatest asset – your ability to earn an income. Take out ASU.”

One of the things the government got right when it took office was to state its intention to increase the uptake of ASU. OK, it had its own agenda – not having to pay out benefits to those who find themselves in financial difficulty due to accident, sickness or unemployment. But the end result is still to reduce the number of repossessions. Which raises the question – why hasn’t the government been approached to extol the virtues of the ASU?

Someone should have sufficient motivation to bring all parties together for an ASU summit to boost uptake. I am prepared to act as mediator between all parties, including having talks with the Treasury. After all, it has a vested interest in ASU as per the initial Labour manifesto – and wouldn’t it be a challenge to get the Treasury to match an advertising and marketing budget put forward by unified ASU providers?

We all have a duty of care to clients so let’s join in an initiative to convey the message: “You too should have ASU”

It’s time the ASU industry had its say in public.


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