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Zurich pulls out of RBS auction but moves in on Spanish market

Zurich Financial Services has pulled out of the bidding for Royal Bank of Scotland’s insurance assets and has instead made a move on the Spanish insurance sector.

Zurich revealed yesterday it would not be bidding for the RBS insurance business, but today it has announced the acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in the insurance and pension operations of Spanish bank Banco Sabadell.

The company claims the move will make it the second largest insurance group in Spain.

Yesterday’s announcement from Zurich follows the withdrawal of several firms that were understood to be interested in the RBS insurance businesses, including Allstate, Allianz, Berkshire Hathaway, Generali and Ping An.

The news raises questions of whether RBS will be able to offload the assets, which include Direct Line and Churchill at the rumoured £7bn price tag.

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