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Abbey aims to sell off closed with-profits business

Abbey is looking at selling its closed with-profits book of business as part of a restructure to focus on the lending and saving market.

The bank is yet to find a buyer for its Scottish Mutual and Scottish Provident closed books which between them hold £14.3bn of funds for nearly a million policyholders.

If a sale does goes ahead, Abbey will keep doing unit-linked pension and investment business through its Scottish Mutual brand and protection business through Scottish Provident.

Any sale would depend on satisfying the FSA that sufficient reserves had been set aside to cover liabilities under the regulator&#39s new realistic reporting requirements. In its 2003 results Abbey made a provision for £373m in anticipation of potential liabilities arising from the new realistic reporting rules.

Abbey is expected to give more details of its plans for its closed with-profits books when it releases its results this month. Abbey for Intermediaries spokeswoman Christine McAllister says: “We are not currently in discussions with anybody for the sale of our closed books of with-profits business.”

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