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Lloyds planning bancassuance rollout

Lloyds Banking Group is planning an integrated bancassurance proposition in 2010, combining the salesforces of Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical.

The launch will be rolled out under the Scottish Widows brand using Scottish Widows’ pensions and protection expertise and Clerical Medical’s savings and investment experience.

In its interim results released last week, Lloyds posted a £4bn loss in the first half of 2009, citing impairments in HBOS legacy assets as the main reason. In the first half of 2008, the group posted a 2.8bn profit.

The statutory profit before tax was £6bn, which includes an £11.2bn negative goodwill gain – where the price paid for an acquisition is less than the fair value of its net assets – as a result of the HBOS acquisition.

Scottish Widows profit increased by 7 per cent from £267m to £287m but profit in the Clerical Medical and Halifax Life businesses dropped by 71 per cent from £143m to £41m.

In the first half of 2009, sales through IFAs fell 29 by per cent. Lloyds attributed this to a reduction in individual pensions due to current economic conditions and a drop in life bonds, reflecting lack of consumer confidence in equity-backed products.

Evolve Financial Planning director James Norton says: “Bancassurers do not generally tend to offer particularly good products or value for money. I do not see it as a threat to IFAs.”

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