Royal London ‘mulls bid for Widows’ £6bn annuities’

Royal London is considering a bid to buy the Scottish Widows £6 billion bulk annuities portfolio being sold by Widows parent Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), according to a report from Sky News.

The report said specialist insurer Rothesay is also a potential buyer of the Widows bulk annuities book and that a number of other parties have also expressed an interest.

Bloomberg reported in November that LBG is exploring the sale of some assets from its pension provider Scottish Widows worth £6 billion.

The Bloomberg report said LBG is in talks with advisers Fenchurch Advisory Partners and Morgan Stanley for the sale of the portfolio of bulk annuities.

The Sky News report said a disposal of the bulk annuities business would enable Scottish Widows to focus on growing its core workplace, individual pensions and direct-to-consumer insurance and investments propositions.

Royal London describes itself as “the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK” with assets under management of £153 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and over 4,100 employees.

The group employs roughly 1,000 in Scotland and includes the former Scottish Life and Scottish Provident businesses.