Lloyds Banking Group will boost its financial planning and retirement open book assets by more than £50bn by 2020 and is targeting more than one million new pension customers.
The group, which includes pension provider Scottish Widows, unveiled its new three-year strategy this morning.
The strategy talks of “maximising the group’s capabilities” by increasing financial planning assets. It also says it will bring in a financial planning and retirement offering with a “single customer view”.
Lloyds is to spend more than £3bn on the strategy, which also includes making its services more digital, and investing in its staff and customer service.
Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Laith Khalaf says: “The Government’s auto-enrolment programme is now largely in the rear view mirror, which means Lloyds will have to pinch these new [pensions] customers off someone else, so it will have to sharpen up its toolkit.”
Khalaf adds: “One would expect Scottish Widows to play a pivotal role in this pensions land grab, which lends some context to the recently announced prospective withdrawal of £109bn of assets from Standard Life Aberdeen.”
Last week, Standard Life Aberdeen shares fell 6 per cent on news Lloyds decided to end investment management arrangements with the asset manager on £109bn of assets.
Reports emerged this week that a breakdown in talks between Scottish Widows and Standard Life to merge their life and pension businesses led to the high-street lender pulling the assets.
Lloyds Banking Group chief executive António Horta-Osório says: “The external environment is evolving rapidly and I am confident that this exciting and ambitious plan, with the significant additional investment, will mean we remain at the forefront of UK financial services, and continue to deliver our mission of helping Britain prosper.”
In October last year, Lloyds bought Zurich’s UK workplace pensions and savings business.