Standard Life to grow up

18 March 2005
The largest mutual insurance company in Europe, Standard Life, is back on top and confident of growth after an unsteady couple of years.

The company has described itself as more "confident" after a series of measures to deal with a sharp fall in life and pension sales in Britain in 2003.

Sales fell from £957 million to £939 million as demand for its key-with-profits product fell, but Standard Life is looking forward to growth now, having reduced distributors' commissions, reduced policy payouts and moved out some of its pension business.

"There are some signs of improvement in market confidence. I am confident that our performance this year will establish a new base from which Standard Life can grow strongly and profitably in the future," chief executive Sandy Crombie stated, according to Reuters reports.

Third-party funds at Standard Life's investment arm rose to £18.3 billion at the end of 2004 from £15.3 billion on November 15th 2003.

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