Scottish Friendly adopts cautious outlook after bumper 2016

Financial mutual Scottish Friendly today revealed record sales for 2016 but said it was taking a 'cautious' stance for the year ahead.

Scottish Friendly chief Jim Galbraith said there was 'considerable uncertainty ahead'. Picture: Ashley Coombes
Scottish Friendly chief Jim Galbraith said there was 'considerable uncertainty ahead'. Picture: Ashley Coombes

The Glasgow-based group reported a 33 per cent rise to £33.9 million, driven mainly by improved sales of protection products as well as increased demand for investment ISAs.

Protection sales surged 54 per cent thanks to a range of business partnerships with brands such as Beagle Street, Sun Life, Smart Insurance and British Seniors Insurance Agency.

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There was a 15 per cent hike in investment sales largely due to strong demand from Scottish Friendly’s own brand distribution as well as the group’s business partners.

The results break the record set in 2015, which was described as a “milestone” year for the business when it acquired Marine & General Mutual, doubling Scottish Friendly’s assets under management.

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Jim Galbraith, who recently took over as chief executive from Fiona McBain, said: “2016 has been another fantastic year for Scottish Friendly, demonstrating the progress that a well-run mutual can make.

“Nonetheless, there is considerable uncertainty ahead as we approach notification of Article 50 and the US adjusts to a new presidency. While we are cautious about the prospects for 2017, we will carry on seeking out opportunities.”