Wesleyan Assurance Society has revealed a 21 per cent rise in new business after “another year of strong growth” despite a tough climate.

The Birmingham-based society, a financial services specialist for doctors, dentists, teachers and lawyers, saw new business sales rise to £42.5 million after a rise in new business that included a 39 per cent increase in life and savings products sales.

The group also announced a 26 per cent increase in ISA and unit trust sales, a 24 per cent increase in total premium income to £333 million and a three per cent increase in total assets to £4.8 billion.

Wesleyan chief executive Craig Errington said: “2011 has been another year of strong growth for Wesleyan despite difficult market conditions. Each of our distribution brands delivered against stretching targets to bring in good levels of new business.

“Our general insurance broking business also increased new business sales by 34 per cent and Wesleyan Bank had another successful year, with personal loans and savings products selling well.

“Our customers have been impacted not only by the economic climate but also by a number of changes which could affect their finances.

"They value our understanding of their professions and recognise us as a safe place to invest their money because of our financial strength, long term investment return and mutual status. This has contributed to a 39 per cent increase in sales of life and savings products.”

Chairman Bryan Jackson added: “We have a very strong focus on our long term strategic objectives. At the start of the credit crunch we made a decision to continue to develop our business through growth in our professional markets and a relentless drive to deliver value to our policyholders and members.

“Over the past three years we have grown new business sales by 54 per cent.”