British insurer Standard Life reported a 7 percent drop in sales, reflecting a weaker corporate pension business as regulatory changes deterred companies from switching pension provider.
Standard Life had new business sales of 14.4 billion pounds in the nine months to September 30, it said on Wednesday , down from 15.5 billion pounds a year earlier, and in line with the expectations of analysts polled by the company.
The decline was due partly to a 32 percent drop in corporate pension sales to 2.6 billion pounds.
British businesses have been putting off changes to their pension plans as new rules under which employees are automatically enrolled into their retirement schemes are phased in, Standard Life said.
The 187-year old insurer said it was ready for a separate regulatory change, due to take effect next year, under which commission payments to financial advisers who sell life insurance and savings products will be banned.
"Standard Life has performed well in the first nine months of the year, continuing to grow our assets despite the uncertain economic environment," Chief Executive David Nish said in a statement.
Its shares were up 1.1 percent at 08.16 a.m. British Time.
(Reporting by Myles Neligan; Editing by Erica Billingham)