Insurance giant cuts with-profit bonuses.
Pay-outs on policies will fall by 7pc on average, despite a 14pc rise in the value of the with-profits fund in 2003.
Standard Life blamed the latest cuts on poor stock market performance, despite a rise in share prices during 2003.
With-profits policies are designed to smooth out the peaks and troughs of stock market volatility. Profits made in strong years are kept in reserve to pay investors an annual bonus even when the stock market performs badly. Now an investor paying pounds 50 a month into a 25-year endowment policy will see the final maturity value fall from pounds 69,386 to pounds 62,603