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Lloyds set to sell Scottish Widows

Lloyds is preparing to offload Scottish Widows as part of a review by the bank’s chief executive António Horta-Osório, The Times reports.

Osório is expected to set out his strategy by the end of June, with Lloyds expected to focus on core banking services.

Resolution, which has already bought Friends Provident and Axa’s life and pensions business, is seen as a favourite to acquire Scottish Widows. The life consolidation firm was previously linked with a bid for Lloyds’ insurance brands in 2009.

Scottish Widows is expected to be priced at between £5bn and £7bn. Lloyds is also thought to be considering selling Scottish Widows’ investment arm, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, with Resolution again a possible suitor.

In January, it was announced that Andy Briggs is to replace Trevor Matthews as chief executive of the rebranded Friends Life later this year.

Briggs was previously chief executive of Scottish Widows before becoming chief executive of general insurance at Lloyds Banking Group, a role he took on following the merger of Clerical Medical and Scottish Widows which saw Phil Loney become managing director of life, pension and investments businesses. Loney has since been appointed Royal London chief executive.

Archie Kane, a former chief executive of Scottish Widows, retired from his role as Lloyds executive director in March, further fuelling speculation that the life and pensions brand could be sold off.

Lloyds says it does not comment on “market speculation”.

A Resolution spokesman says: “Resolution gets linked with deals all the time. This is pure market speculation so it would be unhelpful for us to make any comment.”

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Comments

There are 8 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Is this another sign that Banks will not be offering financial advice post 2012? Scottish Widows will be seeking a white knight to replace ailing dark horse.

  2. Avenue & Co Private Finance 26th April 2011 at 9:12 am

    ..I hope Scottish Widows continue to offer offset mortgages – they are very popular as a recommendation for client’s.

  3. Barclays first and now Lloyds possibly about to stop giving advice will the FSA realise that those who cannot afford to pay for advice as wanted under the RDR will have nowhere to go. Savings in this country at an all time low will get even lower

  4. The grammar police 26th April 2011 at 9:51 am

    Re Avenue & Co: for client’s what?

  5. Compliance Comments 26th April 2011 at 10:46 am

    Lloyds had a share price of near £10 when it bought SW. Shortly after paying a hugely inflated price their share price fell to £5 as a consequence. Getting rid of them is a sensible move regardless of RDR.

  6. Hmm, ‘market speculation’ – sounds like ‘guessing’ to me. I think the Times has decided to create a bit of spin, to see if someone will pick it up, and convert to the truth.

    Personally I don’t think Reso would want SW – Lloyds would want too much money because SW is already a working live insurance company, and Reso has one of those, Friends. What Reso wants is defunct dead insurance companies now to bulk up the back book at low cost.

    Just a guess of course.

  7. Archie Kane retired due to ill health. Fact. Nothing to do with getting rid of the only “decent” company (to work for) within the lloyds group.

  8. Does this mean scottish widow policy holders may be in line for a windfall?

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