Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) has signed a deal to acquire Zurich Insurance’s UK workplace pensions and savings business, the FTSE 100 company announced. The move comes after the lender, which was rescued by the UK government during the financial crisis, completed the acquisition of Bank of America’s MBNA credit card business earlier this year.
The Lloyds share price, along with other London listed lenders, was depressed in today’s meeting after giving up 0.59 per cent to 66.11 pence at 14:33 BST, underperforming the wider UK market, with the FTSE 100 benchmark index currently 0.29 per cent higher at 7,555.75. The Group’s shares have increased in value by almost a fifth over the past year and have risen by almost six percent over the year to date.
Scottish widows up
Lloyds announced today in a statement that it has entered into an agreement with Zurich to acquire its UK company pensions and savings business with £19 billion of assets under management. However, the parties did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement.
The FTSE 100 lender noted that the transaction enhanced Scottish Widows’ current offering, with the division already managing over £124 billion, including £35 billion in occupational pensions.
“Today’s announcement is a clear signal of Lloyds Banking Group’s commitment to financial planning and pensions,” said Antonio Lorenzo, Director, Insurance & Wealth and Chief Executive, Scottish Widows, in the statement.
Speculation from Standard Life Aberdeen
Reuters noted in its coverage of the news that bankers have also speculated that Scottish Widows and Standard Life Aberdeen (LON:ADN) may form an insurance holding, with Lloyds being a major shareholder in the FTSE 100 giant. However, Lloyds declined to comment on the market speculation.
“In line with our stated strategic objectives, the Lloyds banking group would consider opportunities where we are underrepresented,” said a spokeswoman for the bank in an email statement to the news agency.
Lloyds expects to inform investors on October 25 about its third quarter results.
On Thursday 12 October at 15:06 BST, the Lloyds Banking Group share price will be 66.13 pence.