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Sun Life Financial of Canada closes to new business

Sun Life Financial of Canada is to close to new business in the UK, with 100 jobs potentially under threat.

UK chief executive officer Janet Fuller says: “As a consequence of volatility in the economic landscape and the continuing high degree of uncertainty in the world about capital and other business requirements, we have decided to focus our resources on our existing customers in the UK.”

The firm says that, as it will no longer write new business for i2Live and Financial Foundations, around 100 employee positions “will be affected”. The decision will be effective from December 3.

A spokesman for the company says it has entered into a 90 day consultation with employees who will be impacted by the decision, with a formal announcement expected shortly afterwards.


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There are 20 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. History repeats itself. Almost exactly 10 years after it last closed to new business it is again closing to new business (until the next time).

  2. More consumers for state benefits 2nd December 2010 at 12:34 pm

    RDR can have done little to enthuse this company. As a result more consumers will be looking to state benefits rather than personal responsibilty. At its best Sun Life of Canada was a first class business helping its clients take ownership of their own futures.

  3. Thought I had been caught up in a time warp, talk about deja vue!

  4. Another well known Insurance company closes which is now in excess of 85 life companies closing in the last 10years. The reason is regulation, regulation and more regulation. The days of customers buying their insurance or savings from the nice man from the Royal/Pru/Coop/NU/CU etc etc has now long gone along with the infrastructure and training resourses these companies had to offer because they paid “commission” or found it uneconomic to work within the 1% world of the now failed Staheholder Pensions. The good work these firms did helping the UK have one of the highest savings and pensions ratios in the EU to the lowest has been replaced with Loans instead of savings plans, and a hugh proportion of the population without any protection or saving culture. All RDR will do is expand the number of people who will not have access to financial advice becaues they don’t want to or can’t afford the fees and the distribution network outside of Banks has all but disappeared.

  5. My thoughts go to the staff at SLOC. I went for a sales job there a couple of months ago (which fortunately I did not take) and the management team were tremendously bullish about what they would be doing in the UK over the next few years.

    It must be utterly sickening for the people who have been taken on there over the past few months who have left jobs to join and been taken in by the talk of “commitment to the UK”.

    I was put off by the fact that they seemed to want to emulate the Hartford. It seems unfortunately that they really have emulated the Hartford.

  6. Fraser Brydon - IFA 2nd December 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Another candidate for the Resolution to muck up and tear the heart out of a good operation – wont be long now before the announcement – i’m putting money on it!

    An admin nightrmare begins – and the regulators sit on their hands – again.

  7. The FSA must be very proud as another company leaves the UK for reasons including “other business requirements”.

    Whatever could they mean.

    I wonder how long this will be allowed to continue.

  8. Again, there will be clients who will not be able to buy insurance etc. from a provider thanks to over regulation by the FSA. There are people who would like to buy insurance from the Home Service but, thanks to the FSA that has disappeared. There is only one think that will make our industry better, and that is if the FSA disappeared!!! Roll on 2012.

  9. David Trenner - Intelligent Pensions 2nd December 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Last year it was the Hartford, now it is Sun Life Financial. Should we open a book on whether Aegon or MetLife will be next? My analysis suggests that these unit linked guarantee products are not generally good for clients. It seems they are not good for providers either. Mind you they do look good for IFAs given the level of commission available!

  10. Totally agree with Mr Anonymous above. The number of life companies pulling out of the UK market and the dwindling number serving the public is something to be concerned about.

    It is one thing the FSA focusing on better consumer outcomes, however surely a consumer having some life assurance or savings is better than no consumers having any.

    What a sorry state our industry is in. Talk about death by a thousand cuts!

  11. FSA cure is worse that industry illness 2nd December 2010 at 3:27 pm

    The FSA cure is worse that industry illness. The FSA over regulate those not in need and under regulate those that are. The FSA is so useless they have missed every great scandle since 2000 and have instead brought bona fide business to a halt. The FSA is the illness and not the cure and if allowed to continue with their hair brained RDR they will make the UK into a financial service wasteland where it is no longer viable to operate.

  12. FSA fiddles while financial services burn! 2nd December 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Mean while the FSA fiddles while financial services burn! Oxera, the market research firm employed by the FSA to assess the costs of RDR, expects the net present value of the compliance costs to the industry to reach between £1.4 billion and £1.7 billion. Worryingly, the estimate in 2008 was £600 million. The latest estimate represents an astonishing 180% increase. Charges will be higher, so sales of financial products will decline. The majority of adviser firms expect a reduction in turnover. Consumers with smaller amounts to invest are much less likely to seek advice if they have to pay for it explicitly. Smaller firms of IFAs are the most likely to exit the market. No wonder SLOC are shutting up shop. Well done FSA there is still plenty of time left for you to completely mess the industry up!

  13. Thought I had been caught up in a time warp, talk about deja vue!

  14. I feel for the staff who have worked so hard over the last few years.

  15. David T – you might like to know that MetLife has already come and gone from the UK once – they came in 1927 and left in 1933 . They had done wonderful things in the UK corporate market for the few years they were here. In 1933 L&G acquired 150 group schemes from MetLife which really put L&G into the corporate market. MetLife left behind MPA – Metropolitan Pensions Assoiates (now part of Mercers) – history lesson over!

  16. I must admit I didn’t know they had come back to the market and can’t work out why they bothered, the regulatory climate makes new business expensive to produce, each new ‘initiative’ from the regulator is yet another nail in the coffin of UK FS.

  17. I speak as a person who spent over 25 years with Sun Life fortuneately leaving them about 20 years ago. I must say I am not surprised as they attracted many of the wrong sort of salesman. That is why both SIB and FSA were required. From some of the feedback to this story the FSA is still sorely needed!

  18. I used SLOC for new business and it was truely a great product, great service and great people. My heart goes out to the hard working members…. This mess is down to the regulation and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more go, maybe Met Life next as 2 thirds lower adquacy levels.

  19. Their return to writing new business came about by their acquisition of Lincoln. Prior to the acquisition their attrition rate was higher than average so they were heading for zero value. By grafting on Lincoln they have bought more time. Now they must be out to auction with Resolution and Phoenix being the likely acquirers and Chesnara being the dark horse. Maybe whoever does not get the Co-op will be the winner of this one

  20. I took out a number of Confederation Life products that transferred to SLoC when the business was acquired by them.

    Bl**dy awful service from day 1. Getting my pension plan converted to an annuty (fortunately with Aviva) and my endowment maturity proceeds has been a nightmare.

    When you complain you get some useless idiot writing long reports to you basically exonerating themselves as they are poacher and gamekeeper.

    Am I remotely suprised that they have, once again, had to retrench from the Uk marketplace? NO!!!

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