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Swiss Life quitting UK after deal with Unum

Swiss Life has turned its back on the UK market by selling its group income protection book and renewal rights for its group life and critical-illness cover business to Unum Provident.

The deal, which sees Unum Provident become the biggest player in the UK group protection market, comes just weeks after Swiss Life said it was closing its individual book to new business and would do the same with its group business unless it could find a buyer by the end of August.

Financial details have not been released on the acquisition which will see about 1,800 group IP policies covering 280,000 policyholders transferred to Unum Provident over the next two years.

Unum also gains renewal rights to Swiss Life&#39s 6,800 group life and critical-illness policies covering 1.3 million lives and it will become a partner for the Swiss Life Network, providing cover to the group&#39s international clients resident in the UK.

Swiss Life Group said last September that following a review of its subsidiaries, it had decided to sell off noncore assets, including its UK business.

Group chief executive Rolf Dorig says: “We want to focus all of our energies on core business and to restore profitability. By transferring group risk business from Swiss Life UK to Unum Provident, we take a further step in this direction.”

Unum Provident chairman Susan Ring says: “I am pleased that our past success and strong financial position enabled us to secure this arrangement which protects the financial investments and insurance promises of Swiss Life&#39s policyholders.”

Aitchison & Colegrave consultant Duncan Light says: “We were pleased it was an existing player in the market rather than a new entrant as we prefer dealing with specialised protection providers rather than a mainstream provider.”

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