Which? aiming to expand from mortgages to annuities service

Consumer organisation Which? is looking to add an annuities service to the list of financial services that it provides to consumers.

In 2010 it launched a mortgage broking arm called Which? Mortgage Advisers under the umbrella of Which? Financial Services.

In a recent interview with Mortgage Strategy, Which? Mortgage Advisers managing director Mike Lawton said that any decision to offer more products would be based on demand.

He said: “But we will only ever step into other financial services areas when we know we can do it in the right way, we can do it independently, impartially and it’s right for the consumer and the we have the infrastructure and resource to do it.”

Which? has now confirmed it is developing a new service, called Which? Annuity Advisers, that will offer advice on products from across the annuity market.

The spokesman says: “Which? is developing an annuity advice service to help consumers find the best solution for their retirement income.

“This will include a free website with practical, jargon-free information as well as paid-for, personalised and unbiased annuities advice from impartial advisers working across the whole of the market.”

Which? Mortgage Advisers began life as a fees-free mortgage advice brand, although it now charges an application fee of £199 and an administration fee of £100, if you are a member, and £200 for non-members.

A Which? spokesman refused to confirm how much consumers will pay for annuity advice or whether it will receive commission from providers through the non-advised service.

It has not set a date for the launch of the service.

London & Country associate director of communications David Hollingworth says: “Clearly, Which? is looking to play a broader role in financial services advice and there is a role to play for their offering.”