Channel Metrics is a series of 25 briefings and an overview report based on original consumer research with a total sample of 3,600 respondents investigating trends in consumer distribution channel usage in UK financial services. In addition to gathering data for overall take-up rates and annual churn rates across the various financial products and services considered, the research also yields results regarding the distribution interface and specific distribution channel used to purchase or take out the same financial services during 2007. Moreover, with a view to understanding how distribution dynamics are changing, this data is compared with the results from the original Channel Metrics survey in 2005 as well as the choices made by customers in all years prior to 2007. In order to provide clear insights into the subject, this analysis of distribution interfaces and channels incorporates only the responses of consumers making an active choice of distribution channels during the period in question. Consumers making or intending to make an active choice are defined as those who switch provider for a given financial product or service during the time frame under review or those buying the product or service having not held it during the previous year, thereby excluding respondents who merely remain with the same provider. As such, the Channel Metrics series constitutes the most detailed and up-to-date guide to distribution trends in consumer financial services in the UK available on a published basis. Key questions addressed by the research include the following: - what is the rate of progress of the Internet as a distribution interface and web-based brokers and intermediaries as a specific distribution channel and how does this vary from product to product? - for which financial products and services does there appear to be a consistent requirement on the part of consumers for face-to-face interaction? - to what extent are banks and building societies defending their market share for insurance products that they distribute on an intermediated basis? - what impact are commercial partners such as loyalty schemes, the Post Office, supermarkets and other retailers having on the distribution systems used for consumer financial services? - what are the distribution trends for rarely researched niche financial products such as car finance contracts, Child Trust Funds, dental insurance, extended warranties for electronic appliances and home emergency insurance? Overall, the Channel Metrics series offers detailed and unique insights into current and future trends in distribution channel usage across 25 distinct financial products and services - with a dedicated briefing having been produced for each - as follows: car and home - motor insurance, breakdown recovery insurance, extended warranties (for cars), household insurance, home emergency insurance; life and health - life insurance, critical illness insurance, private medical insurance, dental insurance, health / hospital cash plans, personal accident insurance; loans and related insurance - mortgages, mortgage payment protection insurance, personal loans, loan payment protection insurance, car finance contracts, credit cards; niche insurance - travel insurance, pet insurance, mobile telephone insurance, extended warranties (for electronic appliances); savings and investments - interest-bearing savings deposits, cash ISAs, Child Trust Funds, personal / stakeholder pensions. Channel Metrics: Trends in Consumer Distribution Channel Usage in UK Financial Services is based on the results of an on-line survey of c. 3,800 consumers arranged by Tpoll Direct, the market research division of Interactive Prospect Targeting (IPT), during November and December 2007.

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