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Widows ponders offshore comeback

Scottish Widows is believed to be considering starting a new international operation two years after closing its Scottish Widows International arm.

The firm has been in talks with key providers and IFAs in the offshore sector and is looking at the possibility of white-labelling a product from one of the leading providers to cut down on set-up, investment infrastructure and admin costs.

It is believed the new operation will be run out of Dublin or the Isle of Man.

Scottish Widows International closed to new business in October 2002, resulting in around 20 redundancies at its Jersey base.

At the time, Widows accepted that it was not a major player in the offshore market and said it was better to focus on its core UK pension, investment and protection business.

A source close to the negotiations says: “The company&#39s offshore performance was quite poor and this is why it was closed in 2002.

“It is now looking to reenter the sector but is concerned with how much set-up would cost. This is why it is approaching leading offshore providers to investigate the viability of offering a white-labelled product.”

Widows spokesman Neil Cameron says: “We are not reopening Scottish Widows International. I cannot comment on anything else.”

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