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DB transfers remain subdued Royal London results show

Royal London continues the trend of subdued defined benefit transfer activity at major pension providers in its half-year results published today.

The mutual reports life and pension sales decreased 4 per cent in H1 2019 to £5,8bn compared to £6.1bn in H1 2018.

It says this was primarily due to a reduced level of DB transfers as new individual pension sales also decreased by 10 per cent to £3.2bn in H1 2019 from £3.6bn in H1 2018.

This was all partially offset by higher workplace pension sales from new entrants to existing schemes and new scheme wins.

Workplace pension new business sales increased by 6 per cent to £1.9bn in H1 2019 from  £1.8bn in H1 2018.

Royal London chairman Kevin Parry says: “First half trading was robust. Our asset management won new mandates on the back of strong investment performance across asset classes. New business in pensions was marginally lower reflecting the industry-wide reduction in defined benefit transfers, offset by higher workplace sales.

“Consumer and protection traded in line with expectations, making excellent progress in the Irish market.

He adds: “Royal London is well prepared for Brexit and will continue to monitor carefully any developments that might affect our business and customers. We will keep customers informed of significant developments relevant to their policies.

“We continue to maintain a robust capital foundation to allow us to invest in our future core products and propositions while also innovating to deliver better outcomes for customers in underserved markets.”

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  1. Given the ominous portents of the FCA launching another full-blown Pensions Review and, if it does, the possibility of advisers’ PII insurers withdrawing cover, a marked decline in transfer activity is hardly surprising. It happened in the past to somebody I know and cost him several hundreds of thousands of pounds. With amazing fortitude he got through it, but many didn’t, losing both their businesses and even their homes. History may well be repeated.

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