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Investors in UK insurers haven’t had the best start to the month, after government changes to the rules around compensation payouts hit profits across the sector.

Aviva’s promise to return cash to shareholders on Thursday morning has provided some welcome relief, however, sending shares in the group up almost 6 per cent.

Shares in the group were up 5.8 per cent at publication time, to 541p, their highest level since May 2015.

Despite also taking a hit from the rule changes, the FTSE 100 group said this morning that its financial position “has been transformed” since the purchase of rival Friends Life in 2015, and promised to return cash to shareholders later in the year.

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