Lloyds TSB has kicked off the process of its sale of closed life insurance business Abbey Life and is expected to fetch more than £1bn.
Lloyds is understood to have instructed investment bank Lehman to send information on the business to interested parties which are thought to include Resolution, Swiss Re, Pearl and Sun Capital.
This follows speculation over the past year that Lloyds would sell the business and invest the proceeds in retail and wholesale banking.
Abbey Life has around £12bn in closed life policyholder assets and no longer writes new business.
Lloyds declined to comment.