LV equity release sales increase by 77% in 2018

LV’s equity release sales increased by 77 per cent in 2018 to a total of £211m, as of December 2018, its full year results have revealed.

Its annuity sales also increased over this period, from £118m to £137m, and the company’s operating profit for its life and pensions business remained at £60m.

Equity release has been becoming a more popular option, with the Equity Release Council revealing that £3,940m of housing wealth was released in 2018, up by 29 per cent year-on-year.

However, the firms overall retirement solutions sales fell by 13 per cent, from £1,730m to £1,500m.

The insurance company’s total pension new business sales also declined by 13 per cent, to £1,800m, “in particular reflecting reduced levels of defined benefit to defined contribution pension transfers following their peak in 2017”.

In 2018, LV’s profit before tax was “hit by deteriorating financial markets”, which led to a “significantly reduced profit” of £20m, down from £122m in 2017.

Commenting on the report, LV group chief executive, Richard Rowney said: "Following the actions taken in 2017 to strengthen our capital position, 2018 has been all about putting the foundations in place from which to build a sustainable future as a focused, independent life & pensions business.

"Our capital position continues to be strong and our capital coverage ratio stands at a healthy 172 per cent with positive contributions from both trading businesses. At this level it is well within our risk appetite and maintaining this relative position will continue to be an area of management focus in the future.

"Looking to the future, we are today announcing plans to convert from a friendly society to a company limited by guarantee. Our proposed changes are about LV's future as a thriving, successful mutual creating value for our members.

“If implemented they will improve our ability to manage the business in the best interest of members and provide greater flexibility and freedom to compete over the medium to long term."

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