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Friends Provident joins group pensions dive in sales

Friends Provident group pensions sales fell 26 per cent to £310m over 2009 down from £423m the previous year.

The news comes as Resolution reports its results for 2009.

New business sales fell 13 per cent over 2009 to £873m compared with more than £1bn the previous year.

Sales on an annual premium equivalent basis in the fourth quarter were £368m up 21 per cent from £305m for the same quarter of 2008.

The firm says sales in Q4 were boosted by the seasonal increase in Lombard sales.

Lombard sales reflected the seasonal profile of previous years at £199m for the fourth quarter, bringing the total for 2009 to £273m compared with £246m over 2008.

The firm saw a 33 per cent growth in funds under management on the its New Generation Pensions platform to £9.7bn at December 31, 2009, compared to £7.3bn at the end of 2008.

UK corporate sales mainly relate to pensions business which was £91m for the quarter on an APE basis, down £12m compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. Q4 2008 included £14m from a large one-off increment to an existing scheme.

The significant majority of group pensions new business represents increments to existing schemes, which the firm says were depressed in 2009 due to economic conditions.

The firm says, following the announcement of the proposed acquisition by Resolution, a number of consultants removed Friends Provident from their panels. Friends Provident has now been reinstated on all the major target panels but this temporary removal in the last quarter of the year reduced the pipeline for new schemes, which is likely to be reflected in reduced new business from new schemes in the first quarter of 2010.

Resolution Operations chief executive John Tiner says: “In the fourth quarter of 2009 Lombard and Friends Provident International reported strong performances.

“In the same period the UK business continued to reflect a market which we believe is ex-growth. This dynamic continues to demonstrate the need for consolidation of the UK life insurance industry and a necessary refocusing on value and transparency for investors.”

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Never mind…what is that i see coming over the hill? Pe… Personal… Ac….Accounts…what are they then? Son of Stakeholder?

    I know people with all sorts of pension pots, the ones which are being whittled down by HM Treasy and LAUTRO assumed expnses include SERPS, er..graduated contributions – where did they go? Oh, Top-Hat – EPP, S226, AVC, FSAVC, PPP, APP, Stakeholder (the one we waited four years for), OPS (dead parrot?). What an absolute shambles, as bad as the trail of regulatory bodies, dozens of them and the consumer is worse off now that he/she was two decades ago.

    Makes you want to spit!

  2. ru watching c a m er on

  3. Incompetent Regulators Awards Team 11th February 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Who would want to invest in Friends? Just look at the way they handled their With Profits fund. Even my grandmother with dementia could do obtain better returns!

    Friends has always been complicit with FSA rules and ideas because they have none of their own. For a compnay that built itself on the back of commission sales they seem to be very short sighted. Or maybe caught the F-Pack disease, just destroy everything that’s good in it’s path.

  4. We stopped dealing with Friends’ Provident when the service levels took a steep dive after demutualisation.

    As our view was and remains that demutualisation is a legalised fraud on the policyholders, the fall in service was the final straw.

    And do we want to deal with them under their new ownership? With poor returns and even worse service to us on the policyholders we have left with them, I think not!

  5. We stopped dealing with Friends’ Provident when the service levels took a steep dive after demutualisation.

    As our view was and remains that demutualisation is a legalised fraud on the policyholders, the fall in service was the final straw.

    And do we want to deal with them under their new ownership? With poor returns and even worse service to us on the policyholders we have left with them, I think not!

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