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Zurich tight-lipped on R&SA bid

Zurich Financial Services says its UK life insurance business grew 24 per cent to £2.6bn last year, but the life office would not confirm if it was to bid for rival Royal & SunAlliance.

On an annual premium equivalent basis, Zurich&#39s new business premiums rose by 12 per cent to £479m.

Investment sales soared by 37 per cent with the Threadneedle investment business seeing a doubling in sales through IFAs.

But Zurich&#39s life finance director Brian Thomas “could not be drawn” on prospects for a possible deal with R&SA explaining all possible acquisition and growth options were being routinely reviewed.


ScotLife pension cash-in claims

Scottish Life is claiming it is prepared to cash in on an expected stakeholder pensions led boom following a 37 per cent rise in new premiums last year to £800m.The performance was driven by a 21 per cent surge in group personal pensions, plus premiums from its international operations nearly doubling last year.The mutual also […]

Opra sings out against stakeholder

The Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority has blasted stakeholder plans for small companies as virtually &#39unworkable&#39.The regulator fears Government proposals allowing firms with less than five employees not to offer stakeholder will simply prove too difficult to regulate unless new guidelines are introduced.Opra wants stakeholder plans to be redrafted so firms must only set down the […]

Abbey bumps up mortgage rate

Abbey National has become the fourth of the big lenders to raise its home loan rates by 0.25 per cent.The move follows last week&#39s 0.25 per cent interest rate raise by the Bank of England and the hiking of variable rates by Halifax, Nationwide and Cheltenham & Gloucester.Abbey says the rate for savers will rise […]

Chasm between investment performances

The difference between the best and worst-performing UK funds over the last three years is as much as 264 per cent, according to financial adviser Best Investment.Best reports the worst performing UK fund is the Ballie Gifford Smaller Companies, which increased by just 15 per cent, in its recently published guide to stockmarket funds.The best […]

Partied out and penniless

December has left me destitute. My piggy bank lies broken and empty, my lunchtime meal deal feels like an extravagant expense and I’m down to the Bountys in my box of Celebrations. But I won’t mourn my dearly departed pennies. Between buying gifts for loved ones (then deciding to keep them for myself) to treating […]


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