AXA has delayed launching its open portal and has dropped the initial idea of offering services from non-Axa companies, it admitted this week.
The portal had been due to launch this spring, but an Axa spokesman conceded that the launch was likely to be some time in the summer. A version of the Woolwich's Open Plan account was due to be a feature of the portal, but this will no longer be the case.
The spokesman said: “An awful lot has happened in the online marketplace. It is not necessarily a strategic fit for us to have a banking facility.”
Online share dealing was also planned for the portal, but will not now be offered. Axa said this facility was due to be offered by DLJ Direct, which had been owned by Axa but had now been sold. “We don't anticipate having banking or shareholding on the portal,” the spokesman said.
Axa had previously said it would offer products from “quality operators” on the portal, conceding that it was unlikely it would offer the best products in every area itself.
But the spokesman now said the site would be focused on investment, insurance, pensions and healthcare. “All of those facilities are obtainable from within the Axa stable,” he said.
Other portals are being launched by Axa in France, Germany and Belgium and there would be “some degree of coordination” with the launches.
The UK project was launched in March last year when Graham Hill, formerly head of money brokers Garban, was appointed to lead its development.
Axa has said the site is not intended as direct competition to brokers but as a complementary service which will let brokers access Axa's sister companies, such as PPP Healthcare.