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Pru sees 8% rise in UK sales

Prudential 480

Prudential has reported an 8 per cent increase in total UK sales to £617m for the first nine months of the year, driven by individual annuities, with-profits bonds and bulk annuities.

Pru posted total UK sales of £569m for the same period last year.

But the insurer has warned of “short-term dislocation in the market” ahead of the RDR, and predicts bond sales will take a hit in the latter part of this year and into next year.

Pru’s Q3 interim statement, published last week, shows new business profit is up 17 per cent to £227m, compared with £194m at the same time last year.

Individual annuity sales on an APE basis rose 25 per cent from £133m to £166m. Of the total individual annuity sales, £104m came from internal vestings up 18 per cent on £88m last year, due to a higher number of customers retiring and higher average fund values.

Sales of external annuities of £62m were up 41 per cent from £44m.

Onshore bond sales of £161m were up 27 per cent from £127m, including with-profits bond sales of £152m, a rise of 36 per cent from last year’s £112m. 

The PruFund range made up 76 per cent of with-profits bond sales. Pru attributes the performance of the range to the optional guarantees features, but says sales may also have been driven by the RDR in the run-up to the ban on commission.

Pru says: “Distributors are adjusting their business models ahead of the implementation of the new regulatory framework. This is likely to lead to some short-term dislocation in the market.

“While our business is on track to be ready for the onset of RDR, we expect investment bond sales in particular to be impacted in the latter part of 2012 and into 2013 as distributors adapt to the new regulatory environment.”

Corporate pension sales of £148m were down 22 per cent from £190m last year.

Other product sales, which include individual pensions, PruProtect, PruHealth and offshore bonds, totalled £101m, an increase of 11 per cent from £91m last year.

Individual pensions sales, including income drawdown, totalled £59m, a rise of 9 per cent from £54m last year.

Aurora Financial Planning chartered financial planner Aj Somal says: “I find it disappointing that some advisers appear to be going for a last minute commission grab before the RDR comes in.”


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