Scottish Life sales jump 44% as owner hails 'strong' period

Scottish Life owner Royal London has unveiled "strong" new business sales despite difficult market conditions over the past nine months.

The firm, which is still on the hunt for a new boss, said total new life and pensions business grew by 26 per cent to 2.3 billion in the nine months to the end of September. There was a 44 per cent jump in Scottish Life sales to just under 1.6bn.

Chief executive Mike Yardley, who in August announced plans to step down from the group, highlighted record levels of business at the pensions and international businesses.

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He added: "Markets will remain difficult for the foreseeable future. However, I am confident that our focus on providing quality products and services puts us in a strong position to continue to perform well."

There was a less impressive performance at life protection arm Bright Grey/Scottish Provident, where new business sales fell 19 per cent to 251 million during the period.

Royal London has almost 3,000 staff, including 1,300 in Scotland, with a further 300 jobs north of the Border outsourced to Capita. It confirmed yesterday that both internal and external candidates would be considered for the chief executive role. Yardley has said he will head the group until a successor has been appointed.