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Standard sales hit record high

Standard Life&#39s UK new business rocketed by 76 per cent last year to £6.3bn from £3.6bn, the strongest performance in the history of the company.

Boosted by life and pension sales which almost doubled to £5.8bn from £3bn in the year to November, Standard&#39s new business figures were its best since the mutual&#39s launch more than 175 years ago.

Over 90 per cent of the sales came through IFAs as Standard increased its share of the UK life and pension market from 6.6 per cent to 11.4 per cent.

Individual pension sales were up by 60 per cent to from £1.3bn to almost £2bn while group pensions and annuity sales doubled to £2.06bn from £1.04bn in 2000.

Sales of with-profits bonds rocketed nearly fourfold to £1.4bn from £375m.

Standard also made significant strides in UK investment sales, which were up by 77 per cent to almost £1.7bn from £960,450. Around £750m of this business was accounted for by UK corporate pension mandates, which were up by 43 per cent from £524m.

Group chief executive Iain Lumsden says: “Standard Life enjoyed another very successful year in 2001 despite weak economic and market conditions.

“Customers are looking for companies that can offer them security and stability but at the same time are responsive and reflexive. We are one of the few companies which can meet these needs.”

Roberts Clark director Jo Roberts says: “Standard&#39s funds are not performing particularly well so I am surprised about the increase in sales in that area.

“But the figures for its pension business are more expected because Standard is used by a lot of major IFAs because of its up-front commission structure.”

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