British Bank Lloyds Acquires £19 Billion Pensions Business

Lloyds announced in a statement today that it had entered into an agreement with Zurich to acquire its United Kingdom workplace pensions and savings business with assets under administration of £19 billion.

The acquisition added more than £15bn assets under administration and 500,000 customers to the business.

Antonio Lorenzo, chief executive at Scottish Widows, said: "Today's announcement is a clear signal of Lloyds Banking Group's commitment to the financial planning and retirement segment".

As part of the deal, Zurich will gain distribution rights for group life protection to some of Lloyds' corporate clients, the bank said.

"We are.focusing on markets where we have strong assets and can best serve our customers and distributors", said Tulsi Naidu, chief executive of Zurich UK.

Reuters noted in its coverage of the news that bankers have also speculated that Scottish Widows and Standard Life Aberdeen (LON:ADN) could form an insurance tie-up, with Lloyds being a major shareholder in the FTSE 100 giant.

Scottish Widows manages more than £124bn of assets, of which £35bn is in workplace pensions.

Scottish Widows, based in Edinburgh, is to take over the United Kingdom pensions and savings division built up by Zurich.

As part of the transaction around 200 Zurich employees - including key management, relationship managers, technical experts and operations staff, located primarily in Cheltenham - are expected to transfer to LBG under a TUPE arrangement.

The acquisition is expected to partially close in the first quarter of 2018, with final completion and transfer of assets following the required regulatory and legal approvals, Lloyds said. Lloyds has not disclosed the financials of the deal. "To support our other ambitious growth plans, we are also investing in a new multi-million pound retail protection platform and enhancing the range of products on our retail wealth platform".