Matthews questions third way annuities

Incoming Friends Provident group chief executive officer Trevor Matthews has questioned the sustainability of so-called third way annuities, saying the UK\'s sensitivity to fund charges may be a stumbling block.

Matthews says he believes that variable annuities, which effectively offer guarantees to income drawdown clients, are a good idea, but says that good ideas from other countries do not necessarily take root when they are exported.

Matthews says: “This market is characterised by a very high level of sensitivity to fund charge, particularly in the eyes of the intermediary. Will the cost of the guarantee on third way annuities be too much to ruin the concept? I don’t know,”

“I am a great fan of spotting ideas in one country and trying to move them to another and I have had some personal success in that but they do not always transfer from one country to another and we will have to see with third way products – questions remain over them.”

Matthews profile p18