Lloyds bolsters Scottish Widows with Zurich's United Kingdom assets swoop

BRITAIN-BANKING-EARNINGS-LAYOFFS-BUSINESS-LBG

BRITAIN-BANKING-EARNINGS-LAYOFFS-BUSINESS-LBG

Lloyds Banking Group has bought Zurich UK's pensions and savings business, in a boost to its retirement business.

The lender said the acquisition of the business, which has £19bn in assets under administration and about 500,000 customers, will enhance its offering at Scottish Widows - its life assurance, pensions and investment arm.

"Today's announcement is a clear signal of Lloyds Banking Group's commitment to the financial planning and retirement segment", Antonio Lorenzo, Director, Insurance & Wealth and Chief Executive, Scottish Widows, commented in the statement.

The deal will also see Zurich enter into a multi-year, exclusive distribution partnership to provide group life protection solutions to certain corporate clients of LBG's commercial banking services. The Scottish Widows retirement business already manages in excess of £124 billion in funds, and around £35 billion of these assets are from workplace pensions. "The greater proposition choice created through this acquisition will help us meet adviser and customer demands and ensure we continue to evolve our service proposition so that we are easy to do business with". It will also provide a flexible investment capability to support advisers to create bespoke client investments and access assets not previously available via Scottish Widows.

As part of the transaction some 200 Zurich employees - including key management, relationship managers, technical experts and operations staff, located primarily in Cheltenham - are expected to transfer to Lloyds.

Scottish Widows, based in Edinburgh, is to take over the United Kingdom pensions and savings division built up by Zurich.

The bank did not disclose the price of the deal but said it expects it to "partially close" in the first quarter of 2018, followed by the transfer of assets, subject to regulatory approval.

She added: "This new exclusive deal with Lloyds broadens our corporate protection distribution footprint".

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