Royal London balances out mixed results

Michael Bow
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ROYAL London Group, the biggest mutual life and pensions group in the UK, yesterday revealed flat new business growth for the year, with slower inflows for its fund managers offset by increased business for its pension and protection arms.

The company, comprised of eight separate business, said total new life and pensions business flatlined at £2.6bn for the nine months up until the end of September, compared to the same period in 2011.

Royal London Asset Management, its fund management business, posted a 28 per cent fall in net new inflows, down to £156.8m compared to the same figure last year. The figure is a 76 per cent plunge from its 2010 inflow of £649m.

However, the firm said RLAM had experienced “strong” inflows over the summer, hinting at a turnaround.

Ascentric, its administration service, saw an 18 per cent drop in net new business in 2012 down to £856.7m, wiping out a 20 per cent rise in new business posted last year.

The firm blamed the forthcoming Retail Distribution Review, coming into force in January, for dampening growth in the platform market.

The company, founded in 1861, saw more new business in its life and pension businesses, with its protection firms Bright Grey, Scottish Provident, and Caledonian Life all reporting increases.

Chief executive Phil Loney said: “Our protection businesses in the UK and Ireland have experienced strong growth.”

Its pension business Scottish Life saw a two per cent drop in new business and its offshore business Royal London 360° posted a 12 per cent annual fall in new business.