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Friends keeps on growing with 14% rise

Friends Provident has bucked the industry trend with a 14 per cent boost to make 2003 its best-ever year for new business.

Sales rose from £376.7m in 2002 to £429.2m in 2003 on an annual premium equivalent basis. Life and pension business in the fourth quarter of last year was up by 13 per cent from £103.1m to £116.7m.

Protection business leapt by 54 per cent to £69.4m from £45.1m. Savings and investment sales increased by 18 per cent to £114.3m from £97m and new group pension business was up by 12 per cent to £176.1m from £157.8m.

The company describes the increase as a “testament” to its systems and service and is optimistic about the coming year, saying investment confidence is better and less fragmented.

Group chief executive Keith Satchell says: “This has been an excellent performance. During two of the most difficult years in recent times for the industry, we have achieved double-digit new business growth in each year.”

Commerzbank insurance analyst Roman Cizdyn says: “It is a simple company with a simple story. They wanted to grow and they have done it.”


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“Yes. I trust Clerical Medical. I have done business with it before and I can only welcome its re-entry into the market.”Rimi Woodwai, R W Financial Services “Of course we will always consider every option but I doubt Clerical will be any good. I think they have shot themselves in the foot by staying out […]

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Heir of competence

No fewer than 65,000 advisers have passed accredited mortgage qualifications. With the onset of FSA regulation, advisers will have an obligation to demonstrate that they remain competent to give advice. Anyone employing advisers will have an obligation to review their competence. Unfortunately, the FSA has not stated what it will consider necessary to “review competence”. […]

How QE is distorting the gilt market

By Mike Riddell The moves in gilts in August were truly exceptional. Volatility in the gilt market (based off 10-year gilt futures) has soared to close to the highest levels seen this millennium, on a par with the eurozone debt crisis of 2011/12 and behind only the global financial crisis of 2008/09. The first distortion […]


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