View more on these topics

Scottish Widows mulls Standard Life corporate pensions book takeover

Lloyds Banking Group is believed to be in advanced talks to buy the Standard Life corporate pensions book and roll it into Scottish Widows.

The deal, following on yesterday’s announcement that Lloyds is buying the Zurich corporate pensions book, would make Scottish Widows the largest corporate pensions provider in the UK by a considerable margin.

Speculation emerged in June that Standard Life could be buying Scottish Widows. But Money Marketing sister title Corporate Adviser has been told by several different sources that a deal where Widows is the buyer not the seller is currently being worked out. One source says discussions are advanced and described the chances of the deal happening as 80 per cent.

Yesterday’s announcement that LBG is buying Zurich’s corporate pensions book will make Scottish Widows the third largest UK provider.

Based on Q3 2016 AUA figures, published in Platforum’s February Workplace Savings Guide, Scottish Widows’ acquisition of Zurich would give it a combined £47.7bn AUA, compared to L&G at £56.9bn and Aviva at £55.0bn. Adding in the Standard Life Aberdeen book would take it to around £85bn, considerably bigger than its rivals. The deal would also further Standard Life Aberdeen’s aim of focusing on asset management.

A source suggested that September’s first bulk transfers of group DC schemes through Origo, where schemes passed between Standard Life and Scottish Widows automatically, may have been a test run for future consolidation of assets.

Aberdeen bought Scottish Widows Investment Partnership in 2014, since when it has run significant assets for the provider. Lloyds has pledged to give 12 months notice of any intention to withdraw funds from Aberdeen.

Lloyds agreed not to progress further deal talks until six months after the Standard/Aberdeen merger completed. That merge completed in August, meaning no official announcement might happen until February 2018.

A Standard Life Aberdeen spokesperson says: “Anything beyond what is in our prospectus is speculative. In terms of our pension and savings business more broadly – it has built a strong position in both the UK platform and workplace pension markets.  Our commitment to this market has been demonstrated in a number of ways recently through the acquisition of the Elevate platform, the continued expansion, through acquisition of our national advice arm – 1825 – and reaching over 1 million employees auto-enrolled since 2012.”



Lloyds to acquire Zurich’s UK workplace business

Lloyds says the deal is a signal of its commitment to the financial planning and retirement sector Lloyds Banking Group is to buy Zurich’s UK workplace pensions and savings business in a deal that is expected to partially complete in the first quarter of next year. The Zurich business has more than £15bn assets under […]


Blog: How safe is life and pensions company data?

In the era of cryptocurrency, hacking and ransomware, advisers and their clients are understandably cautious about where their information ends up. Pension providers and life companies, particularly those that have significant legacy books they have failed to modernise, can appear apt targets for a cyber-attack. Services such as SpyCloud have cropped up to allow companies […]


FCA fines advice firm for lying to regulator

Firm spent money on flying lessons and jewelry after hiding assets in bankruptcy The FCA has fined a husband and wife financial advice team £50,000 and banned them after the pair tried to lie to the regulator during an interview. Westwood Independent Financial Planners, fronted by John and Colette Chiesa, went bankrupt in 2011 after the […]

Insurance File Generic 480

Reassuringly focused on claims

By Ross Jackson, senior protection marketing manager We’re sure you’ll have heard your customers say ‘But insurance companies don’t pay claims’ when giving a reason for not wanting to take out protection. In fact, our State of the Protection Nation research showed that 27 per cent of consumers asked didn’t think protection providers paid out […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment