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ScotProv admits mutual status is being reviewed

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&#39s 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&#39 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.”

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