iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday 11 June: HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA) has agreed to sell its UK pension business to a unit of Swiss Re Group for an undisclosed amount.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Europe’s largest bank said that its indirect wholly owned subsidiary, HSBC Life (UK) Limited, had agreed to sell the business to ReAssure Ltd, part of the Swiss Re Group.
In trading today, HSBC shares fell 0.6 per cent to 621.00p at 14:59 BST. Since the beginning of the year, the company’s shares have fallen by 6.2 percent.
Under the terms of the agreement, HSBC will sell its corporate and individual annuities and an associated annuity book. At the end of last year, the value of the underlying assets under management under the agreement was approximately £4.2 billion, HSBC said, adding that approximately £4 billion was managed by HSBC Global Asset Management. HSBC Global Asset Management will remain the investment manager of the underlying assets.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed in the second half of 2015, HSBC said.
The transaction follows a change announced by Chancellor George Osborne that will remove the obligation for pensioners to buy an annuity with their pension savings.
Since Stuart Gulliver took over as CEO in 2011, HSBC has made efforts to streamline the business and reduce costs. As part of these efforts, the company has sold or closed more than 60 businesses and cut more than 40,000 jobs.
**Analysts on HSBC**
As of June 6, 2014, the consensus forecast of the 51 investment analysts surveyed, who report on HSBC for the Financial Times, assumes that the company will outperform the market. The same sentiment has persisted since the improvement in investment analyst sentiment on May 12, 2014, the FT said.
**From 15:31 BST is buying HSBC shares at 619.70 pence**.
**From 15:31 BST sells HSBC shares at 619.50 pence**.