Scottish Life’s sales increased 25 per cent in the first half of 2013, from £150m in the first six months of 2012 to £188m this year, as the pension provider’s parent Royal London reported a 19 per cent rise in pre-tax operating profit.
Royal London’s half year results, published this morning, reveal year-on-year profit has risen from £95m in the first half of last year to £113m in 2013.
The above comparisons do not include the loss of a rebate worth £16m in sales from the Department for Work and Pensions in the first half of 2012. This rebate is no longer paid to the provider because contracting-out for defined contribution pension schemes was abolished in April 2012.
When the DWP rebate is included in the 2012 figure, pre-tax profit increased 6 per cent, from £107m to £113m. The rebate is excluded from the remaining year-on-year comparisons.
While pension new business rocketed in the first half of 2013, year-on-year protection sales were down 6 per cent, from £35m to £33m.
Royal London 360°, the insurer’s international arm, recorded a 26 per cent increase in sales, from £23m to £29m.
Ascentric, Royal London’s wrap platform offering, enjoyed a 39 per cent increase in new assets under administration, from £587m last year to £813m this year.
Total assets under administration at Ascentric have increased 21 per cent, from £5.1bn on 31 December 2012 to £6.2bn on 30 June 2013.
Royal London Asset Management saw net inflows rise 199 per cent in the opening half of 2013, with £308m in new money over the six-month period, reversing the £310m net outflow recorded a year earlier.
Royal London Plus, which administer’s the firm’s direct to consumer business, saw sales drop from £3m in the first half of last year to £2m this year.
Royal London chief executive Phil Loney says: “RDR has fundamentally changed the adviser landscape for savings and investment business.
“There is now no potential for commission levels to bias new product advice given in the market, and our focus on the quality of proposition and service for customers and their advisers sits behind the strong growth that we are seeing in our pension, wrap and external fund management sales.
“As advisers necessarily focus on these aspects, we are currently seeing a reduction in the overall size of the protection market this year, which is driving greater competition in the market.
“At the same time, we are progressing well with our direct to consumer proposition and will update further on this in 2014.
“This division will complement our existing product range sold through advisers by providing simple savings and protection products to consumers who do not have ready access to the services of advisers before making financial decisions.”