SCOTTISH Friendly has achieved record sales of savings and investment products in spite of the uncertainty triggered by the pandemic.

The Glasgow-based mutual grew sales by around 12 per cent last year to £46.9 million on the industry standard annual premium equivalent basis, from £42m in the preceding year.

The firm noted it achieved strong growth in sales of both its own branded Individual Savings Accounts and of protection products via partners

The growth reflects the firm’s success in recruiting new customers. The number of members increased by 31,000 to a record 776,000 during the year.

The results cover a year in which Scottish Friendly faced significant operational challenges in addition to those resulting from volatile market conditions.

Former chief executive Jim Galbraith passed away in April 2021 after four years in post. Martin Pringle became acting chief executive pending the appointment of a successor to Mr Galbraith.

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In December Stephen McGee was appointed chief executive, following a career which involved big jobs at Aegon UK, Lloyds Banking Group and Phoenix. Mr McGee took up the position this month.

Mr McGee said last year’s results were a testament to Mr Galbraith and his legacy.

He said Scottish Friendly has a bright future, but there are plenty of short-term challenges ahead.

“We are emerging from the worst of the pandemic, but the UK and the rest of Europe faces fresh uncertainty with a rising cost of living crisis,” observed Mr McGee.

“This will impact global markets and businesses, however with a 160-year history, Scottish Friendly is well equipped to achieve our objective to provide long-term sustainable growth in value for our members during turbulent periods.”

Scottish Friendly currently administers over a million policies.