Standard Life's UK life and pensions sales plummeted 25% in the final three months of 2008 as the financial crisis gripped the nation.
In its annual results for 2008, the group says life and pensions UK sales were down 9% for the full year, but declined rapidly following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the crisis in British banking.
Investment and savings sales performed better, declining by just 4% during 2008, and Standard Life says it is confident it can deal with the challenging market conditions ahead.
Life and pensions sales fell to £12.2bn, down from £13.4bn during 2007, but the fourth quarter of 2008 saw a dramatic drop in sales volumes, down to £2.4bn from £3.2bn.
Standard Life says the sudden drop in sales in the final quarter is largely due to a drop in transfer values.
SIPPs performed well, with funds under administration climbing 13% to £8.7bn, while SIPP customer numbers jumped 41%.
Standard Life's savings and investment business saw sales fall to £2.7bn, but again saw a large drop off in the final three months of 2008, with sales down 20% compared with the same period in 2007.
Wrap sales performed well, with funds under administration climbing 64% to £1.8bn and the number of IFA firms using the platform almost doubled to 409.
Chief executive Sir Sandy Crombie says: "I am pleased to report another solid set of new business results from Standard Life against an increasingly difficult economic backdrop.
"We face challenging market conditions with a strong capital base, innovative and capital lite platform propositions, excellence in customer service, and strong distribution relationships. We remain confident in our ability to outperform in the profitable segments in which we operate."
Contact: John Bakie, Tel: 020 7484 9805, e-mail: [email protected]IFAonline
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