DB inflows fall at Royal London as sector-wide trend continues

Hannah Godfrey reports...

Royal London has seen its life and pension business decrease 4% in the first half of 2019, according to its results, published this morning (12 August).

Royal London largely attributed the £253m fall in life and pensions inflows to a reduced level of defined benefit (DB) transfers, a trend that has been recently reflected in the results of other pension providers and life companies.

The group said, however, that the fall in DB transfers had been partly offset by higher workplace pension sales from new entrants to existing schemes and new scheme wins.

Unlike previous results, Royal London did not specify how much it had spent on the ongoing re-platforming of its Ascentric investment platform, which is known to have already cost the firm in excess of £100m. Ascentric has transferred more than 95% of advised clients onto its new platform, a project it has spent several years trying to complete.

‘Robust’ first half

Elsewhere in its results, Royal London reported an increase of 9% in assets under administration on its platform. Net inflows at the business were up 31% at £5.5bn.

Royal London chairman Kevin Parry said: “First-half trading was robust. Royal London Asset Management won new mandates on the back of strong investment performance across asset classes.

“New business in pensions was marginally lower reflecting the industry-wide reduction in DB transfers, offset by higher workplace sales.”