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IFAs boost Zurich as Dunbar falters

Zurich&#39s half-year new business sales through IFAs increased by 25 per cent on last year to £135m from £108m in equivalent premium

income.

Sales through Sterling, Zurich&#39s IFA-only investment brand, rocketed by 287 per cent compared with the same period last year, with IFA new investment premiums up by 43 per cent.

In contrast, new business through Zurich&#39s tied Allied Dunbar franchise grew by just 2 per cent to £148m from £146m EPI. The franchise has been dogged by problems over the competence of advisers, who had to undergo retesting. It will be renamed the Zurich Advice Network from September.

New business sales across the Zurich group jumped by 11 per cent to £300m from £270m last year while life sales dropped by 15 per cent to £52m from £62m. Pension sales increased by 21 per cent to £120m from £99m and investment business rose by 16 per cent to £128m from £110m over the same period last year.

Chief executive Ray Greenshields says: “These are good results in a challenging marketplace. I am particularly pleased with our strong performance in the IFA sector which now accounts for about half our UK production. It is certainly our core business.

“Sterling has a great product which is obviously meeting the needs of IFAs. Allied Dunbar has not had a great six months because of market conditions and the retraining exercise meant that we lost productivity.”

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