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NU&#39s Withers turns focus on 5% cap for suite

Norwich Union Life chief executive Gary Withers is reinforcing the firm&#39s stance on the proposed new Sandler investment range, suggesting that a 5 per cent initial charge cap, as currently used in Ireland, will get a lot of focus.

Speaking to Money Marketing following the release of parent company Aviva&#39s interim results, Withers reiterated that NU will only write economic business and said that 5 per cent works in Ireland and he suspects that will be put under the spotlight.

Aviva&#39s interim results boosted investor confidence in the insurance market last week when it announced it was increasing its dividend by 2.9 per cent to 9p per share from 8.8p. However, in the UK, it reported that group life and pension sales were down to £531m EPI from £676m last year while UK life operating profit also drop-ped to £339m from £424m.

Withers says he expects future results to be bolstered over coming years by its tie-up with Royal Bank of Scotland last year. He says this has yet to reach its full potential.

Withers says: “There is no way we will write business if we cannot see sensible returns. Our strong preference will be to see some sort of appropriate front-end charge. The bigger the charge, the more people that will potentially be able to buy the product.”

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