Lloyds boosts Scot­tish Wi­d­ows op­er­a­tion with Zurich swoop

The Scotsman - - Business - By SCOTT REID emma.newlands@jpress.co.uk

Lloyds Bank­ing Group has bol­stered its Scot­tish Wi­d­ows busi­ness af­ter snap­ping up Zurich’s UK work­place pen­sions and sav­ing arm.

The lender said yes­ter­day that the deal un­der­lined its “com­mit­ment to the fi­nan­cial plan­ning and retirement seg­ment”.

Trac­ing its roots back to 1812, Scot­tish­wid­owswasac­quired by Lloyds in 1999 for some £7 bil­lion. It cur­rently man­ages more than £124bn of as­sets, of which £35bn is in work­place pen­sions.

The part of the Zurich busi­ness that is be­ing bought has as­sets un­der ad­min­is­tra­tion of about £19bn.

Lloyds said the trans­ac­tion was in line with its “tar­geted growth strat­egy” and ac­cel­er­ated the de­vel­op­ment of its fi­nan­cial plan­ning and retirement busi­ness.

The ac­qui­si­tion is ex­pected to par­tially close in the first quar­ter of 2018, the group added, with sub­se­quent com­ple­tion and trans­fer of as­sets fol­low­ing the nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tory and le­gal ap­provals.

Scot­tish Wi­d­ows boss Anto- nio Lorenzo said: “The ac­qui­si­tion of Zurich’s UK work­place pen­sions and sav­ings busi­ness com­ple­ments Scot­tish Wi­d­ows’ growth to date.”

Har­g­reaves Lans­down an­a­lyst Laith Kha­laf said: “This move un­der­lines Lloyds’ com­mit­ment to the pen­sions mar­ket, scotch­ing ru­mours that have cir­cu­lated for years that [it] is look­ing to sell off the Scot­tish Wi­d­ows fran­chise.” 0 Scot­tish Wi­d­ows can trace its roots back to 1812

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