Net inflows of life and pensions business plummeted to £356m in the first three quarters of this year compared with £1.1bn in the same period last year.
Standard Life said sales have been impacted by the insurer’s decision not to renew bulk investment bond deals.
It said the investment bond deals were written at lower margins in 2008 primarily to secure distribution relationships and therefore it would not be renewing these.
The number of Sipp customer accounts increased from 74,700 as at June 2009 to 79,100 by the end of September 2009. Sipp assets under administration rose from £9.7bn in June 2009 to £11bn in the third quarter.
Group chief executive Sir Sandy Crombie said: “Standard Life has continued to deliver a reliable underlying performance in the first nine months of the year, despite the challenging market conditions. I am particularly pleased with the strong growth in assets, especially in the third quarter. This should benefit the Group’s profits and cashflow in the years to come and is a testament to our track record, demonstrating the confidence shown in us by our customers.
“As announced last week, I am stepping down as group chief executive at the end of December after 43 years at Standard Life. I am delighted to be handing over a business that, having positioned itself well to cope with the financial crisis, is in the right place to benefit from the recovery as and when it comes. Standard Life has a strong balance sheet, attractive products and significant growth opportunities and I wish my successor David Nish every success as he leads the business forward next year.”