Norwich Union saw UK life and pensions sales tumble by 12% during the first quarter of 2009, it has revealed today.
The firm says dramatic changes in world markets and the global recession have hampered consumers' ability to save and plan their finances effectively, leading to a downturn in business.
Total new life business fell to £2.5bn in the first three months of 2009, down from £2.85bn in the same period during 2008.
However, Norwich Union says the rapid downturn in world markets at the end of 2008 means the preceding quarter is more directly comparable. On that measure, sales are broadly stable, with new life and pensions business hitting £2.4bn in Q4 2008.
Individual pensions have performed strongly, up 17% since December 2008 to £900m, and individual annuities sales increased 24% to £407m over the same period.
However, overall pension sales fell 11% to £989m compared with the first three months of 2008, while total annuity sales are down 8% to £475m.
Protection business saw the sharpest fall, down 24% to £245m, with Norwich Union blaming the Competition Commission's ruling on single premium PPI having a heavy impact on business.
Norwich Union continues to renegotiate the reattribution of its with-profits fund's inherited estate. It says discussions with the policyholder advocate are drawing to a close, and the final deal is likely to be considerably less than its original offer. The inherited estate has been valued at £1.4bn at the end of March.
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