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Pru claims UK is crucial and deflects Resolution speculation

Prudential has insisted its UK arm is crucially important to the group, playing down speculation that the business may be Resolution’s next acquisition.

Chief financial officer, and soon-to-be CEO, Tidjane Thiam would not specifically comment on the speculation but said, in a conference call this morning, that the UK business provided the group with important cash and capital.

He said: “Regarding the UK, our results are very strong with margins increasing from 29 to 32 per cent. We have a strategy which is focused and has delivered very, very well and we are very comfortable with where we are.

“The UK provides us with two absolutely crucial things, cash – we have got about £290m, which is a significant sum in this economy, from the UK – and capital – the group’s rating relies very heavily on the strength of the UK balance sheet.

“As such, it is a core business for us and we are quite happy with its performance.”

On the expected consolidation in the life sector, outgoing CEO Mark Tucker added: “We will continue to watch with interest but, as Tidjane said, our focus is on Asia, on the US and on supporting a very strong business in the UK.”

Tucker, who steps down at the end of September, would not give any details of his next move although he has taken a role as non-executive director at the Bank of England, alongside FSA chairman Lord Adair Turner, which began in June.

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