Kevin Carr, chief executive of Protection Review, is now challenging the networks to break their influence over protection sales and simplify the process.
Writing in the latest issue of Mortgage Introducer Carr says: “I’ve lost count of the number of times advisers have told me about the latest ‘farcical’ guidance notes from their network about protection sales.”
Carr said: “Addressing the problem should be quite simple, at least in theory.
“We just need networks and in particular the compliance departments, to better understand the protection market. Making the process easier simply because something is cheaper is not particularly Treating Customers Fairly.
“ As someone once said, I’d rather pay more for something I need than less for something I don’t, which is often very true when it comes to protection insurance.”
Carr’s comments are echoed by Alan Lakey, partner at Highclere Financial Services, who said that some networks are making it too difficult for advisers to provide the best product for consumers.
Lakey said: “The real problem with a network is that it limits your choices as an adviser. This is one of the reasons that we have decided not to be in a network.
“Colleagues of mine who are in a network have told me that they have been expressly told they cannot use a certain product in the past. It is the advisers place to make the best decision for their customer not the network.
“When networks limit choices it is to cover themselves but it disadvantages the customer. I can understand why their concerns but I’d like to see it made easier.
“There has to be a better way to operate then having a panel and I believe that networks should consider changing their policy so they look at each case on an individual basis.
“This may be more time consuming but it would ultimately deliver a better service for all.”