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Standard Life savings flows surge 22% despite corporate pensions hit

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Standard Life’s UK operation has reported a 22 per cent surge in net flows to long-term savings products during the first quarter of 2013, from £785m to £958m, despite its corporate pensions business suffering ahead of the RDR deadline.

The provider’s interim management statement, published this morning, shows the improvement was driven by a 42 per cent increase in net flows to mutual funds, from £282m in the first three months of 2012 to £401m this year.

Net flows into Standard Life’s institutional pensions business also rose 34 per cent, from £739m to £992m.

Individual Sipp net flows fell 30 per cent, from £367m to £256m, while flows into the provider’s UK wealth products dropped 17 per cent, from £185m to £154m.

Net flows into Standard Life’s corporate pensions business fell 29 per cent during the period, from £371m to £262m. The provider says this came as a result of competitors winning business on a commission basis prior to the RDR deadline.

Despite this Standard says its early experience of automatic enrolment has been “encouraging”, with lower opt-outs and higher contribution rates than the provider expected.

Total UK assets under administration at 31 March 2013 were £118.1bn, up 12 per cent from £105.9bn a year earlier.

Total assets under administration on the provider’s platform have increased 11 per cent since the end of 2012, from £14.6bn to £16.2bn.

The number of adviser firms using the platform rose 12 per cent, from 1,041 in Q1 2012 to 1168 in Q1 2013.

Standard Life UK chief executive Paul Matthews says: “We have made a strong start to the year in the UK. 

“While the industry continues to see disruption we have made a smooth transition to operating under RDR and we have seen encouraging signs from retail customers and their advisers as they adapt to the new regulatory environment. 

“Our UK business is very well positioned for the future and we will continue to work closely with IFAs and corporate advisers to help them maximise the exciting opportunities that RDR and auto-enrolment present.”

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