Standard Life through the ages

Standard Life through the ages. A dad and his two kids looking happy as a result of automatic enrolment

News & Insights

MoneyPlus Features Team

30th June 2015 at 8:04am

beardy dad Selfie

The world looks very different today from the way it did when Standard Life was founded in Edinburgh nearly 200 years ago.

Over the last couple of centuries, we’ve continuously adapted to meet the changing needs of people looking to save for their future. From our beginnings as a life insurance provider, to entering the health and medical insurance market, we’ve branched out over the years, constantly moving with the times to provide some of the most innovative savings and investments solutions worldwide.

Let’s have a look at how we’ve changed over the years.

Where we started

Today we’re the largest pensions provider in the UK but did you know we haven’t always been called Standard Life?

We actually began our days as the Life Insurance Company of Scotland and didn’t become Standard Life until 1832.

Image 1 - SL through the ages

During our first 30 years we expanded to England, Ireland and Canada and in the late 1800s we established Colonial Life, offering life insurance for residents across the globe. By the turn of the century we had offices in Europe, South America, India and the Far East.

Image 2 - SL through the ages

Throughout the 20th century, always quick to evolve, Standard Life recognised an important shift in society’s need to prepare for the future. Through innovation and diversification we moved on from just selling annuities and basic types of insurance to pioneer the development of group pension schemes as well as new savings and investments products.

Managing pension schemes became our core business after WWII, and with a little help from burgeoning technological advances, we soon became one of the largest companies in the industry.

The digital revolution

From how we do business to how we interact on a personal level – it’s easy to see how digital technologies have altered the way each of us live. Today we search, socialise, learn, access entertainment, buy things and manage our finances online in ways that even five years ago we couldn’t have imagined possible.

In an unbelievably short space of time the developments in technology have allowed each of us to go about our lives more efficiently – this is something Standard Life recognised years ago.

In 1958 we introduced our first programme-controlled computer – changing our business forever.

Image 3 - SL through the ages

And so it began – in 1961 we upgraded to the Ferranti Pegasus and within just three years Standard Life was fully immersed in the Digital Era and completely committed to computers.

Where we are today

As technology continues to develop at incredible speed we’re working hard to evolve and improve our interactions with you and the rest of the digital world.

Today we give you Standard Life Savings offering easy online access to help, guidance and financial planning tools – so you can take a fresh look at your life savings and get ready for what the future brings.

We’ve chosen aqua as our core colour because aqua traditionally symbolises openness and protection – we’ll be open and transparent with you. We hope you’ll agree it’s a good fit.

Over the next few months you’ll start to see:

  • Simple solutions so you can review your life savings online and on the move
  • Easy access to guidance so you can make confident decisions about your life savings.

At Standard Life Savings, we’ll continue to listen to you so we can adjust our products and our service to best suit your needs so please let us know what you think.

Share your thoughts

Join the conversation and follow us on twitter @StandardLifeUK and Facebook.

The information in this blog or any response to comments should not be regarded as financial advice. As with any investment, its value can go up or down and may be worth less than you paid in. Laws and tax rules may change in the future. The information here is based on our understanding in June 2015.