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Changes at firm prompt change

Aegon quits ABI to lobby ministers and regulators directly

Adrian GracePensions provider Aegon UK is leaving the Association of British Insurers at the end of the year because it wants to lobby government and regulators directly.

The Edinburgh-based firm’s move follows a similar decision by Legal & General last year.

Aegon chief executive Adrian Grace (pictured) said:  “Aegon has enjoyed benefiting from and contributing to ABI discussions over legislative, regulatory and industry-wide developments over the years.

“Looking ahead, we’re entering an exciting new era with the Government encouraging innovation as it pursues its radical modernising agenda to meet the needs and preferences of consumers.

“The industry is responding positively, with each business developing its own priorities and strategies to meet their customers’ needs.

“Aegon’s strategy is to modernise our proposition, continue to build our multi-channel market leading platform, offer ‘to and through’ retirement solutions and focus on advisers, workplace, protection, drawdown and guaranteed products. Integral to this is the emphasis on digital technology to enable us to better serve advisers, corporate clients and customers.

“With this in mind, we feel the time is right to separate from the ABI and focus on our strategic aims and put our point of view forward direct to the Government and regulators.”

ABI director general Huw Evans said it was disappointing to lose a member though Aegon’s move was not unexpected because of changes within the company.

He said: “The ABI remains the one voice of our industry which both Government and regulators will engage with to progress their reforms and, with the board’s support, we continue to adapt our organisation to meet the changing needs of our membership as their business models evolve.”

Grace revealed last week that the firm is looking to sell its annuity book of business.

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