Standard Life Price Reduction
The current rout of the world stock markets has forced Standard Life to cut the price range for its listing on the UK stock market next month by 10%.
The group's 2.4 million policyholders will have their average payouts reduced to about £1,540 compared to £1,700.
Needless to say, the policyholders are far from happy with this, some are quoted as saying that they are "completely disillusioned" with the company.
The price range for the shares has been brought down from 240-290p to 210-270p.
Sandy Crombie, its chief executive, said the board and its advisers "had a very serious discussion about delaying".
He compared the float process with "a juggernaut, difficult to stop once it is launched".
This is rather ironic as only a few years ago Crombie fought against listing Standard Life, and managed to persuade the policyholders to vote against it. That was back in 2000, when the policyholders would have made ten times as much as they are doing now.
A cynic might question why Crombie still holds office?
Phil Needham, a policyholder, is quoted as saying:
"I'm completely disillusioned with Standard Life.
My own payment was expected to be between 7,000 and 9,000, but this development will knock about 10 per cent off this figure. They ought to have demutualised five years ago.
As a company over the past five years its performance has been appalling."
This fall in price leaves them open to a hostile bid.
Given this shambles, and the ongoing industry wide endowment policy fiasco, it is hardly surprising that people have totally lost confidence in Britain's life assurance industry.