E-services will cut costs

Marlborough Stirling has launched an industry-wide e-commerce initiative connecting life companies and intermediaries with end-to-end technology through The Exchange.

The services will be capable of cutting new business and servicing costs by 25% – an annual cost saving of up to £1.25bn.

Marlborough Stirling says it has reached an agreement with AXA, Friends Provident, Norwich Union, Scottish Equitable and Standard Life to participate in the initiative, which is open to all product providers and intermediaries.

These providers have signed contracts for a combined value of between £10m and £15m. These contracts relate to future usage of the Exweb portal, which is operated by Marlborough Stirling&#39s subsidiary company The Exchange.

To ensure the e-commerce services meet the needs of intermediaries, 12 major distributor firms are involved in the initiative, including Bankhall, Bradford & Bingley, Inter-Alliance, SIFA, SimplyBiz, Tenet and Woolwich Independent Financial Advisory Services.

The initiative will deliver ecommerce services that are built on open industry standards and made available to the entire industry, a challenge identified by Ron Sandler in his review of the medium and long-term savings in the UK.

Simon Hudson, chief executive officer of Tenet, says: “It is essential that the intermediary sector increases its use of e-commerce for transactions and client servicing. But to do this, the technology and services must meet the needs of intermediary firms.

“This initiative is designed to ensure that the needs of intermediaries and providers are factored into the development of services that will facilitate increased use of e-commerce.”