Royal London assets fall to £150bn amid H1 loss

Barry O’Dwyer

Royal London said it made a loss before tax of £228 million in the first half of 2022 compared to a £228 million profit for the same period of 2021 “as falls in equity and bond markets led to negative economic variances compared to our longer term expected return assumptions for assets supporting the life funds.”

Royal London said its assets under management fell to £150 billion from £164 billion at December 31 “with net inflows offset by negative market movements.”

Royal London is the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company. It employs more than 1,000 in Scotland and includes the former Scottish Life and Scottish Provident businesses.

The mutual said 140,000 new pension policies were taken out with Royal London during the first half of 2022, increasing the firm’s total number of UK pension policies to over 3.1 million.

It said its flagship Governed Range saw net inflows of £1.5 billion, with assets stable at £51 billion and that “while absolute fund values have been impacted by market declines in 2022, all of our core pension propositions continue to outperform their benchmarks over three years.”

Royal London said its first-half operating profit before tax increased to £109 million from £80 million “driven by a higher contribution from new business sales and lower corporate costs.”

It said its life and pensions new business sales were up 19% at £5.494 billion “driven by a 24% rise in Individual and Workplace pensions sales.”

Net inflows increased to £2.578 billion from £405 million “reflecting increased pensions market activity and the attraction of our long-term savings and investment offerings.”

Royal London CEO Barry O’Dwyer said: “Recent market turmoil means that investors look to their independent financial advisers for reassurance and these advisers, in turn, look to providers they can rely on.

“The trust advisers have in Royal London comes from a consistent track record of transparent investment governance, excellent returns, market-leading service and a mutual mindset focused on delivering for customers, not shareholders. 

 “As a result, we have seen strong growth in new business sales, helping to deliver a 36% increase in operating profit over the first half of the year.

“As the increased cost of living continues to create uncertainty, building customers’ financial resilience remains at the forefront of our priorities.

“In partnership with Wealth Wizards, we have delivered a free online tool which helps Workplace pension members to assess and build their financial wellbeing.

“We are committed to supporting our members and customers to make the right, informed choices to protect their standard of living now and over the long term.”