LIFE INSURER Legal & General (L&G) reported better-than-expected first quarter sales, helped by changes to pension rules and demand for mortgage protection products, reports the Daily Telegraph.
In the UK, new business rose 28% to £363m on an annual premium equivalent basis while worldwide new business was up 27% to £390m in the first quarter.
The paper quotes Tim Breedon, chief executive of L&G saying the results showed: "continued new business momentum, reflecting the strength of the protection, savings and investment markets in the UK and of our position within them."
In the UK, he said, "We saw good performance in retail protection sales as the housing market showed further signs of recovery. There was increased activity in the retail pensions market, with customers and advisers preparing for changes in pensions legislation."
He added: "This is a strong start to the year. We remain confident in our ability to continue delivering profitable growth."
UK life and pensions sales rose to £239m in the first quarter, from £208m the year before, while international life and pensions rose to £27m from £24m. UK retail investments grew to £124m from £75m in the quarter.
A recovery in the housing market and mortgage applications fed through to improved protection sales in the first quarter.
However, Legal & General said that single premium sales of non profit individual annuities were 68pc lower at £56m. The company said: "Competitive pricing has been a feature of this market over the last nine months. We remain comfortable seeing a lower market share whilst the available returns do not meet our profit requirements."
Sales of single premium unit linked bonds rose 39pc to £605m, following strong growth last year.
Pensions volumes grew 32pc to £41m in the quarter, due to increased levels of activity in the run-up to A-Day on April 6.
In the US operations, new life and pensions business was flat at $19m, though returns were higher due to the strength of the dollar.
SECURITY breaches from computer viruses, hacker attacks and staff misuse of the internet are costing British business £10bn a year, according to a Department for Trade and Industry backed report published yesterday, reports the Guardian.
The biannual survey of 1,000 companies by PricewaterhouseCooper shows losses are 50% higher on the 2004 figure - this despite increased spending on security systems. Larger firms saw the number of security breaches fall, but the average cost of each incident rose to £65,000-£130,000 in disruption.
Small companies saw a big rise in the number of attacks, with average losses of £8,000-£17,000.
SAVERS are putting more money into investment funds and deposit accounts than at any time since the height of the stock market boom as confidence in shares returns and individuals shoulder more responsibility for their own finances, reports the Financial Times.
Flows into investment funds, individual savings accounts and bank and building society deposit accounts are all at their highest for at least four years.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Matthew West on 020 7484 9893 or email [email protected].IFAonlie
F&C IT's 150th anniversary
First meeting for Powell
Red tape and tech driving consolidation
2019 Survey opens in June