Lloyds swoops on Zurich’s UK pensions arm
Iain Withers LLOYDS Banking Group has bought Zurich UK’s pensions and savings business, in a boost to its retirement arm.
The bank, which returned to full private ownership in May after the Government sold the last of its stake, said the deal would bolster its Scottish Widows division by adding £19bn in assets and 500,000 customers.
The tie-up helps Antonio Horta-Osorio, the Lloyds chief executive, grow the group’s retirement business, which stands to benefit from regulatory changes giving pensioners more say over how to spend their life savings.
It is his second takeover in a year, after the group bought credit card business MBNA from the Bank of America, a deal that completed in June.
The Zurich tie-up is expected to partially close early next year, with full completion to follow once regulators give it approval. Lloyds has not disclosed the financials of the deal.
It comes as Mr Horta-Osorio draws up his third strategic review of the bank ready for launch at the start of 2018, which is expected to refocus the company on wealth management and digital banking.
Scottish Widows already has more than £124bn of funds, of which £35bn are in workplace pensions.
Around 200 Zurich staff, mainly based in Cheltenham, will join Lloyds. As part of the deal Zurich gains distribution rights to provide life protection to some of Lloyds’ corporate clients.