U.K.’s Standard Life Posts Gains

December 12, 2000

At least one mutual life insurer seems to be alive and well, as the U.K.’s Standard Life, Europe’s largest, announced a 25 percent increase in worldwide new business premiums which reached £5 billion ($7.25 billion) for the end of its fiscal year, November 15th.

While the U.K.’s Equitable Life has been forced to cease accepting new business, following its failure to find a buyer, Standard’s doing just fine, registering a 21 percent increase in new U.K. premiums to £3.5 billion ($5.08 billion). It also posted a 12 percent gain in sales of pension products, a 33 percent increase in Canadian operations, and a 35 percent increase in its investment division, which now has £78 billion ($113 billion) under management.

Some analysts have speculated that the results could trigger new demands for the insurer to demutualize. It successfully fought off such a proposal last June, and company spokesmen have reaffirmed that Standard remains committed to operating as a mutual.

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