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Challenger feels effects of adviser turbulence

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Disruption in the financial advice market has led to a drop in Challenger’s annuity sales from $1.17 billion to $662 million over six months.

Figures presented to investors show the number of adviser sales among the major banks, AMP and IOOF fell by 11% between the first and third quarters of this year. Challenger says this is mainly because of lower adviser productivity.

A jump in independent financial adviser sales was not enough to make up the decline.

Challenger now aims to expand its distribution channels to access more independent advisers, implement targeted initiatives to minimise disruption in the advice market and spend $15 million on education and engagement to build customer demand.

It will also start tracking advisers who support annuities as they move across advice licensees.

Japanese annuity sales are also falling, due to higher US interest rates relatives to Australia, which is reducing the demand for Australian-dollar products in Japan.