Scottish Provident has rejected calls by carpetbaggers for an
extraordinary general meeting to decide on its future mutual status.
But the life office has admitted that it is carrying out its own review
into its status.
Rejecting a letter from carpetbaggers demanding an EGM, the board says its
status is already under review and an EGM is not appropriate.
The board says: “It has been decided to bring forward plans to inform
members that it is examining its future status as a mutual company”.
In February, following the board's annual strategic review, it appointed
financial, legal and actuarial advisers, Flemings, Linklaters and
Tillinghast-Towers Perrin to help it consider the options.
Deputy group managing director Norval Bryson says the review will consider
all the options, including a merger with a bigger company. The board will
then decide what it feels is in members' best interests.
The move, which was widely expected by the industry, gives the board the
upper hand in any negotiations about its future rather than being forced
into talks by carpetbaggers.
But it is seen as a green light to a number of suitors currently linked
with the protection specialist, which include Britannic Assurance, Scottish
Equitable parent Aegon and Axa, which owns IFA brand Axa Sun Life.
Bryson says the life office will not be approaching these potential
suitors but admits he does not think they will be slow in coming forward.
He says: “Until the review has finished, no one is in the position to
judge what is the best way forward.”