US financial giant The Hartford has announced it is suspending selling new insurance and investment policies in the UK as a result of the continued financial turmoil.
It says the London-based sales and marketing operations of Hartford Life, its UK subsidiary, will close in the coming months, although it adds it will maintain its Dublin-based service operation to "honour all in-force policy guarantees".
Sales of products in the UK will cease on 8 May, it says, while reports suggest hundreds of employees will lose their jobs as a result.
Hartford Life's UK business has more than 18,000 policies in force and £1.2bn of assets under management as of 31 March. It currently markets investment bond and pension products.
"Our decision to suspend all sales in the UK is a difficult one," The Hartford president and chief executive Marc Lieberman says.
"We're taking this step in response to the continued turmoil in the financial markets and our company's overall efforts to preserve capital and reduce the risks associated with various business lines."
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