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Just Retirement blames annuity sale drop on regulation

Just Retirement chief executive Rodney Cook has blamed falling annuity sales on regulatory changes, including the retail distribution review and the European gender directive. 

According to the firm’s latest new business figures, published today, new business rose by 12.9 per cent in the year ended 30 June, despite a drop in annuity sales of 13.6 per cent in the last three months of the period compared to the previous year.  

Total new business for the 12 months to July amounted to £1.65bn, up from £1.46bn in the previous year.

However, comparing the three months to July 2013 with the same period last year, total sales fell by 4.6 per cent.

This was due to a 13.6 per cent drop in annuity sales, from £362.3m to £312.9m. Comparing the same two periods, sales of lifetime mortgages rose 47 per cent, from £63.6m to £93.6m.

Cook says: “Annual sales are the highest since the group began trading and are particularly pleasing given the significant regulatory changes in the period from the retail distribution review and the European gender directive. As predicted, there has been some volatility in the quarterly pattern of annuity sales transactions as distributors have adapted to the regulatory changes.”

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