Aegon to quit ABI

Aegon is to leave the Association of British Insurers at the end of the year in a bid to lobby “direct to the Government and regulators”.

It follows Legal & General which quit the insurers’ trade body last year, believing it could lobby more effectively alone.

Aegon chief executive Adrian Grace says: “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 says: “It is always disappointing to lose a member, but given the changes within Aegon, this was not unexpected.

“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.”

Last week, an internal note circulated around Aegon’s UK offices revealed the firm is looking to sell its UK annuity book of business.