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Protection pledge

Friends Provident has committed itself to the UK protection market and is offering a new business protection product.

It pledges to “continue to at least maintain market share and enter new segments” in the protection market.

The latest available statistics show Friends had a 6.7 per cent share of the protection market in the third quarter of 2007. Last week’s trading update showed a 4 per cent fall in protection sales last year to £413m from £432m in 2006.

Friends’ new business protection plan offers partnership and shareholder protection, keyperson protection and loan protection with a maximum sum assured of £2m.

Head of protection marketing Mark Jones says: “There are around 4.5 million businesses in the UK and Swiss Re estimates the business protection gap is around £500bn. This shows there is huge potential in this marketplace.”

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “Friends’ strengths are protection and pensions so I think it made the right choice. More competition will hopefully push down premiums and make underwriting less painful.”

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