Paymentshield is set to be sold to the UK’s biggest regional general insurance intermediary in an expected 180m deal, Money Marketing understands.The Towergate Partnership, which controls over 1.25bn of gross written premiums, is believed to be in the final stages of negotiations to snap up the mortgage payment protection insurance and buildings and contents insurance provider in a deal that is will see chief executive Stuart Pender land a bumper pay cheque. Any deal is likely to see Towergate run Paymentshield in an underwriting agency capacity, with a number of insurers, led by Royal & Sun Alliance, providing cover. Paymentshield wrote 186m of premium income during the last financial year. It would mark Towergate’s first major foray into the protection market and see the part broker/part underwriting agency, which has snapped up around 115 firms since its launch in 1997, become a major player in the sector. Paymentshield, whose majority shareholder is HBOS and whose policies are mainly underwritten by HBOS subsidiary St Andrew’s Insurance, has been rumoured to be looking for a buyer for a number of months. Neither party would comment.