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WP survey slams free-asset ratios

The UK&#39s top with-profits life offices are Britannic Assurance, Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society and Teachers, according to a new survey by Cazalet Financial Consulting.

All three life offices get 10 marks out of 10 in the survey which uses a new system designed by Cazalet.

Equitable Life was rated before it closed to new business in December and got two out of 10. Sun Alliance, now part of Royal & Sun Alliance, was given a score of three.

A detailed IFA handbook to with-profits analysis and investment markets, produced with Old Broad Street Research, accompanies the ratings.

Cazalet slams offices for their use of free-asset ratios, saying they are useless and misleading and give a false impression.

The ratings include inadmissible assets, tax reserves and reinsurance.

Cazalet Financial Consulting principal Ned Cazalet says: “We are determined to help IFAs gain a clearer understanding of with-profits and help them see through the spin and hype of the industry – weak insurers desperately manipulate their figures to lure in unsuspecting investors. The free-asset ratio method, which makes about as much sense as a doctor assessing a patient&#39s health by looking at the shine on his shoes, is now history.”

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