Scottish Friendly sales soar in record results

Scottish Friendly chief executive Jim Galbraith. Picture: Peter Devlin
Scottish Friendly chief executive Jim Galbraith. Picture: Peter Devlin
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Glasgow-based mutual Scottish Friendly has posted rising revenues amid record annual figures, as demand for investment savings products soared in 2018.

Total sales hit the second-highest level in the group’s history, reaching £38.6 million annual premium equivalent (the industry standard measure of regular premiums plus one tenth of single premiums) in the year to 31 December.

The mutual, which traces its roots back to 1862, reported particularly strong demand for its branded investment Isas (individual savings accounts), with sales up 27 per cent to £12.1m.

It pointed to direct marketing and e-business channels as driving take-up of the savings vehicles, also known as stocks and shares Isas.

The financial services group also hailed record membership numbers of 594,000, up around 6.3 per cent from the previous year, while assets under management grew by 3.7 per cent to £2.8 billion, boosted by the acquisition of the £320m Mobius Life book of business in November.

Chief executive Jim Galbraith said assets are set to almost double before the end of the current year.

He said: “We are delighted with the performance of the business in 2018 and it shows our resilience in difficult market conditions.

“2019 is set to be another exciting year for Scottish Friendly, with the transfer of a significant book of life and pensions business from Canada Life set to nearly double our assets under management later this year.

“It is particularly pleasing to see that despite recent stock market volatility and wider economic uncertainty, our investment Isa products have seen a significant increase in demand, resulting in strong growth with sales up by over a quarter in 2018.”