Belfast Telegraph

Lloyds group expected to seek suitor for Scottish Widows

By Jamie Grierson

Taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group is considering a sale of its pensions and insurance business Scottish Widows, it has been reported.

The group's new chief executive, Antonio Horta-Osorio, is poised to offload the subsidiary along with a possible sale of the bank's 60% stake in wealth manager St James' Place, The Times said.

Mr Horta-Osorio is expected to unveil the plans as part of his strategy to focus the business on its core banking services, which he will unveil to investors at the end of June.

Lloyds Banking Group declined to comment.

The group has also been ordered by the European Commission to sell off 600 branches and at least 4.6% of the UK personal current account market and 19.2% of its retail mortgage assets, as a condition of the state aid it has received. Mr Horta-Osorio recently announced plans to accelerate these sales, which include the disposal of Cheltenham -amp; Gloucester, the TSB brand and Intelligent Finance.

Scottish Widows would reportedly come with a price tag of between £5bn and £7bn.