UK - Standard Life is to consider demutualising after talks with regulators over its solvency.
Experts say the mutual – which has been locked in talks with the Financial Services Authority about the “realistic” strength of its balance sheet – has been badly hit by three years of falling markets.
They point out that its solvency has been eroded because it has such a high proportion of its assets in equities which it has held for longer than its peers.
Following the conclusion of talks with the FSA, Standard Life said its balance sheet was strong in both “absolute and relative” terms.
But independent analyst Ned Cazalet disagreed:
“Nothing has changed, Standard Life is not strong. If the FSA’s actions mean anything at all that is not because the company is in great robust financial condition.”
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