Rothesay Life appeals High Court block on Prudential annuity transfer

Kim Kaveh reports...

Rothesay Life has lodged an appeal against the High Court’s decision to block the £12bn transfer of Prudential’s annuity book.

The appeal – submitted on 27 September to the Court of Appeal – will be on the basis that the judgment in the High Court “contains material errors of law”, and should “therefore be reconsidered”, the insurer said.

In the mid-August ruling, the High Court said its decision was due to the insurer’s lack of “established reputation” and differing “capital management policies”.

Rothesay Life has asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment and sanction the transfer.

It said: “The appeal is unlikely to be heard for several months and the Court of Appeal will then need time to deliver its judgment. So, the outcome of the appeal will not be known for some time.”

This week has been a significant week for the insurer, as it announced two mammoth bulk annuity transactions, one of which is the biggest ever transaction to date.

It announced yesterday that it agreed a £4.7bn buyout of the GEC 1972 plan, which made 2019 officially, a record-breaking year. Meanwhile, today it agreed a £3.8bn buy-in with the Allied Domecq Pension Fund in the market’s largest deal to cover both pensioner and deferred members.