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ScotEq International&#39s business suffers amid Revenue challenge

Scottish Equitable Inter-national saw a sharp business decline in 2001 in a year which was beset with difficulties for the firm.

Single-premium income fell by 37 per cent to £203m from £320m in 2000.

Luxemburg-based SEI had planned to launch a with-profits bond from a new office in Dublin this year but has put it on hold following the terrorist attacks of September 11

SEI&#39s key inheritance tax products faced a challenge from the Inland Revenue, which was only lifted in December last year.

ScotEq parent Aegon UK saw a 5 per cent increase in profits to £230m from £219m and an increase in new business to £638m from £538m on an equivalent premium income basis.

Spokeswoman Lesley McPherson says: “While it was a disappointing year, it is important to differentiate between the UK market and Europe as a whole. Italy had very disappointing results following changes to IHT rules. We are still considering our options for the Dublin office and will be making an announcement soon.”

Jackson Batten Financial Group managing director Robert Rackcliffe says: “We have been trying to steer our clients&#39 money into safe investment havens over the year. ScotEq International has no with-profits or property options.

“As its IHT plan had the shadow of an Inland Revenue challenge hanging over it, we avoided them. But now it has the all clear, that will change.”

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