Standard Life seeks staff after pension business growth

STANDARD Life is recruiting almost 50 staff on the back of growth in pensions business, marking its first campaign of this size for several years ­following a series of cutbacks.

The jobs will be in the customer service division, and will be based in Edinburgh. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

The 46 recruits will be hired in two waves, the first before the end of the year and the second early next year.

The jobs will be in the customer service division, and will be based in Edinburgh. Standard Life said it was ­looking to attract a wide range of candidates, from school-leavers to those with more ­experience.

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The recruitment drive is a direct result of growth in new business triggered by the retail distribution review, which abolished commissions for independent financial advisers, and the UK government’s 
auto-enrolment initiative which launched last October.

Auto-enrolment means all employers in the UK have to introduce a workplace pension for their employees and the scheme is being phased in until 2017.

At the half-year results Standard Life confirmed it had implemented 51 schemes with a further 300 firms being implemented in the second half of this year.

A further 3,000 companies have selected the company for their auto-enrolment requirements next year.

Standard Life estimates that it will gain around 400,000 customers via the scheme, from existing clients alone. The corporate pensions business currently has assets under administration of £26

In the first half of the year Sipp (self-invested personal pension) customer numbers were up 15 per cent, and the number of adviser firms using other companies’ wrap platforms increased by 10 per cent.

Paul Matthews, chief executive of the UK business, said: “We were well prepared for the regulatory changes introduced over the last year in the UK and we’re seeing strong results.

“It’s important that we continue to deliver great customer service as we grow and these roles will help us do this.”

The recruitment drive adds to a sense of growing buoyancy in the Scottish financial services sector.

Financial technology specialist FNZ announced at the end of last month that it would be increasing its Scottish workforce by 10 per cent with the addition of 30 project management and operations staff.

The company – which last year moved its headquarters from New Zealand to Scotland – said the new jobs would support growth in its existing business and ensure FNZ is well-placed for expansion. It currently employs more than 300 in Edinburgh.

Scottish Life parent company Royal London has predicted a further upturn in business in the coming months after a regulatory overhaul helped its first-half profits more than double.

The UK’s largest mutual life and pensions firm also said sales had been boosted by auto-enrolment and rules banning the payment of commission to financial advisers.