Royal London lifted by 22% rise in new business

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ROYAL London, the life insurance and pensions company that owns Scottish Life, has posted a 22 per cent rise in new business for the opening three months of the year.

New business flowing into the mutual, which is buying the life insurance and asset management businesses of the Co-operative Banking Group, increased to £929 million in the quarter to 31 March from £761m in the same period last year.

Scottish Life grew its new business by 29 per cent to £698m, while Caledonian Life saw a 30 per cent uplift to £10m.

The Bright Grey and Scottish Provident insurance divisions posted a combined 12 per cent rise in new business to £121m. Royal London 360° new business was unchanged at £90m.

Funds under management rose 5 per cent to £50 billion, while Ascentric, its wrap platform, saw its net inflow of new assets under administration rise 34 per cent to £392m. Assets under administration were 16 per cent higher at £5.9bn.

Group chief executive Phil Loney said: “The positive momentum in our business performance from the second half of last year has continued in the first quarter of 2013.

“RLAM has experienced good net inflows after some large cyclical outflows in the same period in 2012. The levels are almost double the amount which we received in the equivalent period in 2011.

“Ascentric had its best ever quarter with its highest inflow of new assets, new adviser firms increasing three-fold and total assets under administration already nudging £6b having just broken the £5 billion mark late last year. The business is profitable and, well placed for growth throughout 2013.”

Members will vote on the Co-op acquisition on 4 June. The deal adds two million customers and £20bn of assets.