Strong growth for Wesleyan
Birmingham-headquartered Wesleyan recorded a 20% rise in society premium income, 27% increase in life and pensions new business premiums and saw assets under management increase to a record £7.6bn last year.
Group chief executive Craig Errington said: “2017 was a great year for the Wesleyan Group as we successfully delivered against all of our key financial performance measures.
“We made further progress in our ambitious transformation programme while maintaining our financial strength.
“This is good news for our members and policyholders who continued to enjoy strong investment returns and competitive payouts, while being part of a successful mutual that puts their needs first.”
The 27% increase in new business within Wesleyan’s core life and pensions division was driven primarily by excellent sales of investment products.
Wesleyan Bank grew its balance sheet by 18% with strong growth in sales of longer-term secured loan products, although increased competition impacted short-term profits.
Wesleyan’s other subsidiary companies delivered impressive results over the year with the dental membership businesses, practice plan and DPAS, reporting an operating profit of £6.7m (2016: £6.5m) and a 4.3% increase in customer numbers to 960,000.
Errington added: “Our long standing commitment to equities and property delivered another strong investment performance, contributing to total assets under management growing to a record £7.6bn. We remain committed to our long-term “buy and hold” investment strategy which we believe ultimately provides customers with the best chance for competitive returns.”
Wesleyan invested heavily in its ongoing large-scale transformation project, which includes new customer relationship management and point of sale systems.
When fully operational, these systems will transform how it delivers its products and services, providing the foundations to develop a wider digital strategy that will ensure greater customer choice and drive growth and efficiency.
Nathan Moss, Wesleyan’s chair, said: “We believe our mutual status offers us a competitive advantage in the professional markets that we serve. Our customer satisfaction scores are higher than many leading UK brands as evidenced by our net promoter score, measuring the likelihood of a customer to recommend. Our score stands at +54 compared to a financial services industry average of +15.
“We have ambitious plans for the future, building on our 176-year history while unleashing all of the potential Wesleyan has to offer. This is an exciting time of growth and opportunity and we thank our customers for their ongoing trust in us and our staff for their commitment and dedication.”
Published: 05 April 2018