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Standard Life pulls out of UK protection market

Standard Life has pulled out of the UK protection market admitting its proposition is “sub-scale”.

Standard says its protection range represents less than 1 per cent of its sales and only 0.6 per cent of the UK market according to Association of British Insurers figures.

In a statement, the firm describes its proposition as “sub-scale” and says it makes more commercial sense to focus resource and investment on other lines of business.

It adds around 50 employees could lose their jobs as a result of the pull out but says it will continue serving its 400,000 odd existing customers. It insists Standard Life Healthcare will be unaffected by the announcement.

Spokesperson Paul Keeble says: “The UK protection market continues to be fiercely price competitive and our current protection proposition is sub-scale, representing less than 1 per cent of our sales. It makes more commercial sense to focus our resource and investment on other lines of business which are able to generate more profitable returns and this is consistent with our corporate strategy of making the best use of capital in order to maximise shareholder value.”

CBK principal Peter Chadborn says: “Standard Life is a brand associated with quality but it seems providers are finding it increasingly difficult to offer a quality proposition in a protection market that is so price driven. I think it’s quite encouraging when a company of this size decides to concentrate on what it is good at rather than trying to spread itself too thinly.”

Last quotes will be available December 5 2007.

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