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Pru UK sales hit by RDR and annuity reforms

Prudential’s UK arm has reported a 12 per cent slump in sales for the first nine months of the year as the industry continues to feel the effects of the RDR and annuity shopping around reforms.

The insurer posted sales of £540m for the year to 30 September, compared to £617m for the same period last year.

The provider’s interim management statement, published last week, also reveals new business profit has fallen 10 per cent during the first nine months of 2013, from £227m to £204m.

UK retail sales were down 9 per cent year on year, from £577m in 2012 to £525m in 2013. The provider says this was mainly due to a reduction a reduction of sales of with-profits bonds following the RDR and lower corporate pensions sales.

Sales of individual annuities dropped 3 per cent, from £166m to £161m, primarily as a result of a 6 per cent fall in internal vesting sales, from £104m to £98m.

With-profit annuities sales were stronger during the period, increasing 15 per cent from £57m to £66m.

However, onshore bond sales were down 22 per cent from £143m to £126m, driven by a 25 per cent reduction in with-profits bond sales. The provider says this is due to fewer bank advisers following the RDR.

Corporate pensions sales were down 7 per cent, from £148m to £138m.

Hargreaves Lansdown head of financial planning Danny Cox says: “The fact bond sales have dropped by 22 per cent since commission was banned makes you question whether all the sales made pre-RDR were really appropriate.”

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