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Clerical doubled up with business

The avalanche of new business that forced Clerical Medical to close to new group pension business has become apparent after the company published its business results for last year.

New business soared last year by 141 per cent to £469m from £286m. Group pension business leapt by 85 per cent, totalling £148.7m equivalent premium income for 2001 from £61.8m in 2000 despite the company closing its doors to new group business in August last year.

The company says the backlog has not yet been cleared and it will not be ready to re-enter the group pension market for another few months.

Individual pension business in 2001 was up by 72 per cent, rising to £114.2m from £66.5m. Investment business increased by 21 per cent to £104.4m from £86.3m in 2000.

Sales from its international arm into the UK increased by 36 per cent to £92.9m from £68.3m.

Chief executive John Edwards says: “Any company that achieved less than 30 per cent in 2001 went backwards in term of market share. A gulf is beginning to emerge between those providers that IFAs recognise as having long-term viable futures and those with a less certain future.

“Looking ahead, depolarisation will introduce change into the UK IFA market and our focus is to assist today&#39s IFAs to prosper in the new market environment. Alongside our strategy for continued growth in the UK, we are planning for significant growth in the European markets in which we operate – Germany, Austria, Italy and Belgium – particularly in pension markets as pension reform sweeps Europe.”

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