The Society retained its financial strength over the year meaning it was in a position to distribute the mutual bonus of £36m among investors in its flagship With Profits Open Fund, representing a 1% uplift on investments. The Fund delivered a competitive 12.7% return in 2021.
The Group delivered a £6.1m operating profit as a result of new business volumes and a managed reduction in expenses. This comes on the back of a £18.6m operating loss in 2020 due to the difficult trading conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Assets under Management rose by 8% to £8.5bn from £7.9bn benefitting from new business income and improved investment returns.
The Wesleyan Foundation donated £1m to good causes linked to its professional customers and the UK’s recovery from Covid-19.
Mario Mazzocchi, Wesleyan Group Chief Executive said: “2021 was a landmark year for Wesleyan as we celebrated our 180th anniversary. We were pleased to get the business back to profitability after the difficult trading conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We increased our capital strength and shared the benefits of this by distributing excess surplus through a mutual bonus of £36m to Wesleyan investors in our With Profits Open Fund. We also delivered a number of key strategic initiatives that have helped to strengthen our business and should deliver greater value to members.
We will continue to implement our strategy of sustainable growth over the coming years. As a mutual, with high levels of financial strength, we can continue to take a long-term approach that ensures we deliver the right outcomes for members and customers both today and in the future.”
Chair Nathan Moss added: “We were pleased to see the plans we made in 2020 to protect Wesleyan against the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic pay off and help get the business back on-track in 2021.
“We made progress in a number of key strategic areas including significant enhancements to our sustainability and inclusion agendas. We were pleased to win awards for excellence in responsible business, championing social mobility and championing gender diversity over the year in recognition of the work we’ve done in these areas. However, we still have some distance to go to achieve our inclusion ambitions and have robust plans in place to support us on this journey.
“Wesleyan’s performance in 2021 pays testament to the passion and commitment of our people and the Executive team who lead them. I thank them for their hard work and also our members and customers whom we are proud to serve.”
2021 business performance
- The Society made an operating profit* of £6.1m (2020: loss £18.6m) reflecting increases in new business volumes and a managed reduction in expenses.
- The Group maintained its capital strength with £589m (2020: £565m) in the Group Fund for Future Appropriations, representing the excess of assets over liabilities and therefore the financial strength of the organisation.
- The Society’s financial strength means it is in a position to distribute funds in the form of a £36m mutual bonus in 2022 based on 2021 performance (2020: £29.7m).
- A substantial investment of £34.5m (2020: £28.0m) to continue with key transformation activity reflects Wesleyan’s commitment to building a stronger, more sustainable business to benefit members and customers.
- Assets under management grew to £8.5bn from £7.9bn as a result of new business income and improved investment returns. This also led to a competitive 12.7% return for the With Profits Fund, which shows a strong long-term performance (+114% return over ten years**).
- Wesleyan subsidiary Practice Plan Group grew the number of patients on plan to over 1 million.
- Continued high customer satisfaction scores including a competitive +49 Net Promoter Score which shows how likely customers are to recommend an organisation (2020: +50).
- 98% (2020: 96%) of personal income protection claims paid compared to an industry average of 87% ***
* Group operating profit/loss represents profit before investment fluctuations and other accounting and tax adjustments. 2020 profit restated.
** After smoothing and before charges applied.
*** Association of British Insurers (ABI).