It is premature to suggest there is a solvency problem at Standard Life despite several reports today according to Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail.
He says new solvency guidelines from the FSA are only now starting to be applied to the life insurance sector, and it is too early to tell how it will affect the financial strength of providers.
Looking objectively at Standard, McPhail says there is much more reason to believe it might have been under duress 12 months ago than today when the markets have recovered substantially since then.
He says: “I think it is far too premature to start suggesting as to whether there is a solvency issue at Standard Life. We are dealing with new solvency guidelines, and it is too early to tell how they are going to affect providers. We will have to wait and see how the discussions between the FSA and Standard on this issue progress.”