Royal London ends merger talks with LV=

Barry O’Dwyer

Royal London said on Wednesday its discussions on a potential merger with mutual life insurer LV= — formerly known as Liverpool Victoria — have ceased.

Royal London is the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company. It employs more than 1,000 in Scotland and includes the former Scottish Life and Scottish Provident businesses.

Royal London CEO Barry O’Dwyer said: “Mutuals are owned by their customers and are run for their benefit.

“Our offer to preserve LV=’s mutuality through a merger with Royal London was based on an understanding that LV= did not have a viable future as an independent company. 

“For Royal London’s customers and members, nothing changes. 

“We remain committed to delivering great value products, backed up by market-leading customer service. 

“We look forward to sharing a substantial level of profits with our eligible customers in April, as we normally do.”

LV= said: “LV= entered into merger discussions with Royal London at the start of the year.

“However, it has become clear to LV= that our different mutual models mean such a merger would not be in the best interests of LV= members.

“As a result, talks between the two companies have now ceased.”

LV= interim chair Seamus Creedon said: “We thank Royal London for its engagement and we look forward to operating alongside it as part of a vibrant mutual sector.

“The strength of LV=’s business performance over the past 18 months combined with its operational progress has strengthened the board’s belief in, and commitment to, the continuation of our status as an independent mutual.

“We have heard what our members have said about the importance of mutuality and the continuation of the LV= brand.

“We continue to maintain our strong capital position, are trading well and building a successful future for LV=, its members, employees and wider communities.

“We will shortly update our members on our business strategy and will continue to engage with them over the coming weeks and months.”