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Royal London Q1 sales up 18% as group pensions new business rockets

Royal London has reported an 18 per cent increase in new business during the first quarter of 2014, from £839m in Q1 2013 to £989m this year, as chief executive Phil Loney urges the FCA to review its retirement advice rules.

The mutual insurer, which recently launched a direct-to-consumer marketing campaign, saw year-on-year group pensions sales surge 65 per cent, from £268m in the first three months of 2013 to £443m this year.

Drawdown sales increased by almost a third during the period, from £113m to £146m, while individual pension sales rose marginally to £282m.

However, protection new business dropped 39 per cent, from £131m to £80m. Ascentric, Royal London’s wrap platform, experienced a 6 per cent drop in net inflows during the period, from £561m to £530m.

Loney says drawdown sales have risen 22 per cent since the Budget but warns the Government’s at-retirement “guidance guarantee” pledge does not go far enough.

He says: “The Government’s guarantee of “guidance” for people approaching retirement is welcome. But it does not go far enough.

“There is a pressing need for more tailored advice for many people. We urge the FCA to look at its rules around the advice process. The regulator needs to play advisers into the market by developing a new regime for “at retirement” customers that can be delivered in a straightforward and cost-effective way. 

“Advisers should be recommending retirement income products from across the market, or if the advice is restricted, it should encompass a range of the best providers. We must not see a repeat of the mistakes made in the annuity market where too many customers were unable to access the best deals in the market.”

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Julian Stevens 13th May 2014 at 9:56 pm

    “The regulator needs to………………. develop a new regime for “at retirement” customers that can be delivered in a straightforward and cost-effective way”. You are ‘aving a laugh, mate. Regulators, by their very nature, are constitutionally incapable of creating ANYTHING that’s straightforward and cost-effective. In fact, our particular regulator appears to be hell bent on the systematic evisceration of both those things, as exemplified by its total inability to devise a framework for simplified advice and the endless embellishment of its rule book that renders the provision of cost effective advice nothing but a distant pipedream. To do otherwise simply wouldn’t be in its own interests.

  2. Well done Phil Loney. Albeit the numbers are a bit smaller, I’m pleased to report our revenues were also up by 18% Q1 2014 compared to the same period last year. I’d be interested to know if this is a general trend within our sector and, if so, that would be a fairly clear indicator that the economy is at last picking up. Anyone else like to compare figures for my little straw pole? (I’m obviously referring to organic growth not growth as a result of acquisition – that’s cheating!).

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