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Swiss Re buys Barclays life business for £753m

Barclays has sold its life insurance arm to Swiss Re for £753m, making the bank £330m in profit.

The bank has revealed that some 760,000 policies from Barclays Life, the combined life insurance business of Barclays and Woolwich in the UK, once managing £6.8bn in assets, will now transfer to Swiss Re by Oct- ober 31.

Barclays group finance director Chris Lucas says: “Barclays Life is an attractive, high-quality business which is not core to Barclays. We are delighted to agree a sale to Swiss Re, which is an experienced and reputable partner.

Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “If you factor in that Barclays Life was not interested in the IFA market, then the question is, why would Swiss Re want to buy it?

“Would it be because they want the money under management because they can make a profit? Or have they got plans to move into the UK market with protection products?”

Lakey says reinsurers are sometimes more in tune with market needs and says any push into the intermediary market would be welcome.

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