(From FT Investor (Stories))
Standard Life on Friday reported sharply lower new business sales and reduced final bonuses to policyholders but sought to reassure on its financial strength.
Europe's largest life assurer said total sales in the first half fell 25 per cent to GBP691m ($1.1bn) on an annual premium equivalent basis - a standard industry measure of new regular premiums plus 10 per cent of single premiums.
Sales in the UK, its largest market, fell 27 per cent, as consumers lost confidence in equity-related products such as pensions.
The group also reduced final bonus payouts to policyholders by an average 6 per cent.