Standard Life Float Delayed
It is reported that Standard Life's flotation might be delayed until 2007, due to outstanding issues with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) over endowment mortgages.
The float was originally planned to happen in 2006. However, the FSA is reported to be seeking assurances from the company over a number of issues; including allocation of capital and how much new money they want to raise.
Specifically the FSA want clarification over assurances that Standard Life gave last year, when it announced that it was unable to fulfill its mortgage promise to 600,000 holders of endowment policies.
Standard Life also set a deadline of May 2006 for considering mis-selling complaints over endowment policies, this hits 350,000 endowment policy holders.
Standard Life has set aside £393m to pay top-ups to policyholders facing shortfalls.
However, customers whose endowment policies mature after the end of this year will receive only 40%-60% of the top-ups.
You will recall that the FSA and Standard Life had something of a run in earlier last year; the dispute, over the measurement of its solvency, forced Standard Life to change its chief executive and reverse its long-standing opposition to demutualisation and sell £7.5bn of equities.
What goes around comes around!