Lloyds Said to Consider Insurance Acquisitions to Grow Business

  • Lender said to be looking at ways to bolster Scottish Widows
  • Bulk annuities and corporate pensions of interest to U.K. bank

Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Britain’s largest mortgage lender, is considering acquisitions to help expand its insurance business, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The bank is looking at ways to bolster its Scottish Widows insurance unit through assets including bulk annuities and corporate pensions, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. The lender is examining how to grow its insurance business “where we believe we have competitive advantage through our sector expertise and scale,” a spokesman for the London-based bank said without elaborating.

Lloyds Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio last year started considering acquisitions for some areas after the European Union lifted restrictions imposed as part of the lender’s bailout. The bank is targeting growth in businesses where it’s trailing British competitors such as insurance, credit cards and car finance.

The lender named Antonio Lorenzo as the interim director of its insurance division and CEO of Scottish Widows in January, replacing Toby Strauss. Sky News reported the bank’s interest in acquiring insurance assets earlier on Thursday.

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