Scottish Life owner Royal London today said it was poised to benefit from changes to the regulatory landscape as it reported flat sales for the first nine months of the year.
The life and pensions sector is set for a major shake-up next year when the retail distribution review (RDR) outlaws the payment of commission to advisers for recommending firms’ products, while auto-enrolment will force employers to offer workplace pensions to eligible members of staff.
Royal London chief executive Phil Loney said: “We are well placed to benefit from the RDR and from auto-enrolment, which will have a huge impact on the group pensions market over the next few years.”
He was speaking as the group unveiled new business sales of £2.6 billion for the nine months to 30 September, unchanged from the same period last year, following a 2 per cent dip in Scottish Life pensions sales to £1.8bn.
Last week, Edinburgh-based life and pensions giant Standard Life announced new business sales of £14.4 billion for the first nine months of the year, down from £15.5bn at the start of 2012, as sales of its corporate schemes were hit by companies putting their plans on hold ahead of auto-enrolment.
Individual protection sales at Royal London’s Bright Grey and Scottish Provident arms jumped 34 per cent to £334.6 million, but it blamed “the pressures of RDR” for an 18 per cent fall in new assets under administration at its Ascentric wrap platform to £856.7m.
Total funds under management at its asset management division rose 17 per cent to £46.6bn, despite an 18 per cent decline in new business inflows to £156.8m.
Loney said: “This is particularly pleasing given some outflows experienced earlier this year which, with changing market characteristics and investor appetites, is the nature of fund management.”
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