View more on these topics

Swiss Life scraps deal with Unum after OFT move

Swiss Life&#39s deal to offload its UK employee benefits business to Unum Provident has been abandoned following the decision by the Office of Fair Trading to refer the deal to the Competition Commission.

Swiss Life says it is not going ahead with the deal, which was announced last August. However, it says it is still looking at ways it can work with Unum, taking into the account the OFT&#39s concern. These discussions include Unum becoming a new UK partner in the Swiss Life Network for international pooling. Swiss Life may also put the business into run-off.

The OFT was concerned that the a merger could substantially reduce competition in the group income protection, group life and group critical-illness insurance markets and that there could be barriers to expansion for smaller firms.

The Competition Commission report on the deal was expected to be completed by April 16.

Existing customers due for policy rate reviews are to have their cover temporarily extended on their existing terms, with Swiss Life promising that they will be given sufficient notice once the final position is decided.

Unum Provident declines to comment on its future plans.

Swiss Life UK Richard Davies says: “It was disappointing that the deal was referred to the Competition Commission as it has created more uncertainty for our customers and staff. The reason for this decision is an attempt to reduce the amount of uncertainty by making it a matter of weeks rather than months before an answer is given.”

PIFC Consulting head of technical services Mike Dowding says: “If the answer is that there is a rundown and not a continuation of a competitive position then it is as bad news as if the merger had taken place as it reduces the capacity and therefore the competition in the market.”

Recommended

Dressed for the weather

No outfit is too outrageous for one Wolverhampton-based IFA. The firm&#39s managing director, who shall remain nameless, was due to set aside his trademark purple velveteen suit and don his sou&#39wester and sturdiest shoes to help present the local weather forecast from the firm&#39s office as part of the BBC&#39s Children in Need campaign. The […]

Pensions Bill widely predicted for December

Liberal Democrat spokesman for work and pensions Steve Webb predicts that the Government will deliver a Pensions Bill by the end of the year, with detailed debates before Parliament breaks up for Christmas. Webb expects the Pensions Bill to contain details of the proposed pension protection fund and changes to the priority order for wind-up. […]

Richard Verdin on Protection

The people I would most like to read this column, apart from IFAs, are those involved in product development, particularly those who say they are working on second-generation critical-illness products. Because I want them to read this particular column, I have employed a trick that others may want to copy in the future, that is, […]

Breast cancer claims soar as screening improves

Scottish Provident has received record numbers of breast cancer claims, paying out more than £7m in the first six months of this year, according to its latest critical-illness figures. The £7m paid out to 80 claimants up to the end of June was equal to a quarter of the total of £28m paid out on […]

Simon Fletcher

Auto-enrolment: pay attention or pay the price

By Simon Fletcher

As a chief executive officer of a business in the financial services sector, I have been dealing with the introduction of auto-enrolment for our clients for some time, but I can also speak from an employer’s point of view, having to go through the process ourselves.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com