Scottish Friendly warns of inflation uncertainty after unveiling record numbers

Scottish Friendly has reported record annual sales despite “significant” business and economic challenges but warned the backdrop remains uncertain.

The latest results are the strongest in the Glasgow-based mutual’s 160-year history as well as being the first following the passing of former chief executive Jim Galbraith in April last year.

Sales of Scottish Friendly’s own-brand investment ISAs rose by 17 per cent to £18.4 million in 2021 and sales of its protection products via partners increased by 22 per cent to £21.9m.

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Assets under management rose from £5.3 billion to £5.4bn and the number of Scottish Friendly members increased by 31,000 to 776,000, the annual results reveal.

Stephen McGee, who was appointed as non-executive director in September 2021, took over leadership of the business earlier this month following Martin Pringle’s role as acting chief executive.

McGee said: “It has been another incredible year for Scottish Friendly given current circumstances and with so much market and economic uncertainty.

“These results are testament to Jim and his legacy. We know that Scottish Friendly has a bright future, but there are still plenty of short-term challenges ahead.

“We are emerging from the worst of the pandemic, but the UK and the rest of Europe faces fresh uncertainty with a rising cost-of-living crisis.”

Stephen McGee, Scottish Friendly’s chief executive. Picture: Peter DevlinStephen McGee, Scottish Friendly’s chief executive. Picture: Peter Devlin
Stephen McGee, Scottish Friendly’s chief executive. Picture: Peter Devlin

Chairman David Huntley added: “The outlook for the next 12 months is difficult to predict but stubbornly high inflation and rising interest rates are going to be a feature. However, record sales last year show that Scottish Friendly remains in a strong position.”

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