Profits slip for Friends Provident
Life assurance firm Friends Provident has announced a three per cent drop in pre-tax profits which could impact upon its 2008 target.The firm saw profits slump from £524 million in 2005 to last year's £509 million, despite new business profit growth in the UK reaching close to 70 per cent.However due to the "challenging protection market" the London-based insurer operates in, the firm warned that it may struggle to meet the targets it set in October last year.Six months ago, the company announced a "demanding" 2008 target of £180-£200 million in new business profits, a goal it may not meet."Although we remain committed to achieving this target, the product mix and, in particular, the level of protection sales, which has been subdued in recent months, will be critical," said Philip Moore, the group chief executive."It is early days, and we are making progress towards our goal, but the prospects for a more challenging protection market, and the impact on our 2008 target, will not be fully understood until later in 2007."The announcement of last year's profit slide caused the firm's shares to dip by seven per cent on Tuesday morning.
Private medical insurance popularity grows
According to figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the number of people taking out Private Medical Insurance (PMI) has risen year-on-year for the first time in recent years.In 2006, 1,030,000 individuals took out personal PMI policies, up 1.8 per cent from the 1,012,000 personal PMI policies in 2005.The number of businesses taking out corporate PMI has increased even more than t...Read More
Have we kissed goodbye to boom and bust?
Gordon Brown famously declared that he had broken the cycle of boom and bust in the UK some time ago only to have this boast thrown back in his face. While many at the time questioned the decision to declare the end of the infamous boom and bust economic cycle in the UK, and around the world, Gordon Brown was adamant that he had cracked the code! The truth is that the boom and bust economic cyc...Read More
When will the small business market improve in the UK?
The UK has always been a country which has developed and nurtured literally millions of small businesses over the years. However, the credit crunch and the following recession have severely limited the amount of credit available to small business entrepreneurs in the UK and we have seen a collapse in many ultimately viable businesses purely and simply because of cash flow and finance issues. So wh...Read More
Is the worst yet to come for the UK economy?
With more than 140,000 companies in the UK falling into financial trouble in the final quarter of 2009 there is a stark warning today that the worst of the UK economic downturn may be yet to come. While that is not to say that the UK economy is not starting to recover, the aftermath of what has been the worst economic downturn since the 1920s has still not hit home in many areas of the UK economy....Read More
Savers question the wisdom of Building Societies
As the dust starts to settle on the takeover the Cheshire and Derbyshire building societies by the much larger Nationwide Building Society it seems that all is not well with customers of the two smaller societies. Left with no choice they will now see their investments merged with Nationwide but unfortunately many will see the amount guaranteed by the Financial Service Protection Scheme (FSPS) fa...Read More