Royal London boosted by new pensions

·2-min read
Barry O'Dwyer, chief executive of Royal London
Barry O'Dwyer, chief executive of Royal London

Asset manager and pensions provider Royal London, which has significant operations in Scotland, has reported a recovery in sales of new workplace pensions during the first half of this year.

Operating profits rose by 36 per cent to £109 million as 140,000 new pension policies were taken out with the company during the period. However, assets under management fell 9% to £150 billion as net inflows were outweighed by declining valuations of its investments.

Most fund managers, who invest in equities and bonds to fund pension pay-outs, have seen a fall in assets as the gloomy economic outlook has taken a toll on market valuations. Taking into account the decline in assets under management, Royal London made a pre-tax loss of £228m, down from a profit of £228m in the same period a year earlier.

Focusing instead on the operating result, chief executive Barry O’Dwyer said the statutory loss was a “technical result” of falling markets. He added that as a mutual focused on “customers, not shareholders”, Royal London remains intent on building individuals’ financial resilience in the face of the cost-of-living crisis.

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“We are committed to supporting our members and customers to make the right, informed choices to protect their standard of living now and over the long term,” he said.

Royal London has approximately 1,400 employees in Scotland. Many joined Royal London as a result of its acquisitions of the Scottish Life and Scottish Provident businesses, in 2000 and 2008, respectively.

Earlier this year, Royal London was in talks with its rival LV= on a possible deal between the two firms.

Royal London approached the former Liverpool Victoria after the latter’s members rejected a £530m takeover offer from private equity giant Bain Capital. However, LV= ended the talks with Royal London saying it had become clear “that our different mutual models mean such a merger would not be in the best interests of LV= members”.