Standard Life in Canada reports strong balance sheet and business growth despite unprecedented market turbulence

    - Premiums and deposits rise 11% to $3.7 billion for first nine months of
      2008 compared to same period in fiscal 2007
    - Strong balance sheet and capitalization with regulatory ratio well
      above required levels

    MONTREAL, Oct. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - The Standard Life Assurance Company of
Canada, part of Standard Life plc's group of companies, today reported strong
advances in business growth and reiterated the strength of its balance sheet
and capitalization. Premiums and deposits rose 11% to $3.7 billion(1) compared
to $3.3 billion for the same period in 2007. The quality of Standard Life's
balance sheet remains very strong despite an unprecedented deterioration of
global capital markets.
    "Growing our business remains a primary focus in 2008," said Joseph
Iannicelli, President and Chief Executive Officer. Growth in premiums and
deposits was achieved despite the adverse impact of the recent financial
crisis on Retail Market's sales. Strong sales in our Group Savings and
Retirement and Group Insurance reflect the continued leadership of our pension
offering, our success in the disability insurance segment, and ability to
cross-sell to our corporate clients.

    A strongly capitalized company

    "Our conservative business and investment management policies have
resulted in a balance sheet that is both solid and resilient, and allows us to
remain very strongly capitalized despite the current conditions. Our exposure
to US troubled companies such as: AIG, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch,
Wachovia and Washington Mutual represents approximately only two-tenths of one
per cent of the total assets managed by Standard Life in Canada", added Joseph
    Standard Life is subject to Minimum Continuing Capital Surplus
Requirements (MCCSR). The regulator of financial institutions requires life
insurance companies to maintain specific MCCSR ratios. With an MCCSR ratio of
211% Standard Life was well above minimum regulatory capital levels as at
September 30, 2008.
    Today, the parent company, Standard Life plc, also announced that its
capitalization remains solid, with its regulatory surplus as at September 30,
2008 largely unchanged from that of December 31, 2007.

    About Standard Life

    In 2008, Standard Life, the first life insurance company to transact
business in Canada, marks its 175th year of operations. With 10,000 employees
globally, Standard Life plc is a major international financial services group
headquartered in Scotland. It provides asset-managing services for retirement,
investment and protection to some 7 million customers globally and has
$330 billion in assets under administration, as at June 30th 2008. It has
offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, India and
China, including Hong Kong.
    The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada is Standard Life plc's
largest operation outside the U.K., with 2,000 employees based in Montreal and
across Canada, serving more than 1.3 million Canadians, including group
insurance and pension plan participants. (
    Standard Life plc has approximately 1.5 million shareholders worldwide,
including approximately 14,000 institutional and individual shareholders in
Canada. It has been trading on the London Stock Exchange since The Standard
Life Assurance Company demutualized in 2006. Standard Life plc is listed on
the FTSE 100, Europe's largest index, and on the FTSE4Good Index, which
identifies companies adhering to globally recognized corporate responsibility
standards. (

    Forward-looking statements

    This press release may contain forward-looking statements about certain
of Standard Life's current plans, goals and expectations relating to future
financial conditions, performance, results, strategy and objectives.
Statements containing the words: 'believes', 'intends', 'expects', 'plans',
'seeks' and 'anticipates' and any other words of similar meaning are
forward-looking. All forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty
because they relate to future events and circumstances beyond Standard Life's
control. As a result, Standard Life's actual financial condition, performance
and results may differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations set
out in the forward-looking statements. The Company will not undertake any
obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements in this press
release or any other forward-looking statements that it may make.


    1. Mr. Christian Martineau, Senior Vice-President, Finance and I.T., is
       available for interviews.
    2. Standard Life plc published its Q3 trading results and interim
       management statement on October 30, 2008 which are available on, at

    (1) All dollar figures in this release are expressed in Canadian dollars.

For further information:

For further information: Vincenzo Ciampi, Vice President, External
Communications and Public Affairs, (514) 499-7999, ext. 6710,

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Standard Life

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