Scottish Widows has revealed it is examining the possibility of re-entering the IFA protection market.
The insurer, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, said it was researching an entry strategy for the IFA protection market.
Scottish Widows is one of the country's largest providers of protection products, but it sells them exclusively through its parent company, Lloyds Banking Group.
According to data from reinsurer Swiss Re, the provider is the biggest seller of critical illness policies in the UK and among the top five for income protection.
It made the announcement as part of an update to its intermediary strategy that confirmed it was also re-entering the advised annuity market and closing its offshore bond offering.
The review of its IFA business was commissioned by Toby Strauss, group director of insurance at Lloyds Banking Group, and has focused on how the business can expand within its current core markets of pensions, protection and investments.
"With a protection gap in excess of £2tn, there is already a substantial customer need for life assurance in the UK," said Strauss.
"Our existing expertise in life assurance through other channels means that we can utilise this to develop a compelling protection offering that will be specifically designed for the IFA market."
A spokesperson for Scottish Widows told COVER that while the re-entry was not confirmed it was being seriously considered.