Royal London upbeat after record results

MUTUAL life and pensions group Royal London said it expects “more of the same” for the remainder of the year and 2016 after posting results it described as a new record for the 154-year-old business.
Royal London chief executive Phil LoneyRoyal London chief executive Phil Loney
Royal London chief executive Phil Loney

The firm, which has 1,142 of its total 2,958 employees in Scotland, said its new life and pensions business grew by 35 per cent in the nine months to 30 September, reaching £4.86 billion.

It said this reflects “excellent” sales in pensions, due to pension freedoms and auto enrolment, and in protection products.

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Group pensions increased by 11 per cent to £1.92bn, individual pensions by 52 per cent to £1.44bn and drawdown by 67 per cent to £966 million. Sales to individuals jumped by 330 per cent to £116m, “reflecting strong growth in the direct to consumer and funeral plan business lines”.

Total group funds under management reached £83.1bn at 30 September, a year-on-year increase of 1 per cent.

Chief executive Phil Loney said: “This is another strong set of results with all life and pensions businesses putting in excellent new business performance.”

He said the firm was very pleased with its performance, having improved all of its main products. It is now extending its auto-enrolment cover to small businesses, including those with one or two employees, having focused on those with 50 to 500.

Loney also reiterated the firm’s opposition to proposed ISA-style taxation of pension income. “The public will not trust future cash-strapped governments to honour any current promise of a tax-free-ISA-style income in retirement,” he said.