Lloyds Bank May Expand Into Wealth Management And Pensions

The Financial Times reported over the weekend that the bank was looking to capitalise on its position as Britain’s only integrated high street bancassurer, which allows it to provide wealth and retirement services to its retail customer base.

Mario Mazzocchi, a pensions and investment director at Lloyds’ Scottish Widows business, told the paper that Lloyds Banking Group was in a unique position to offer financial planning, retirement and long-term savings solutions to retail customers.

“We expect demand for these products to grow, driven by a number of factors, including the introduction of pension freedoms, auto-enrolment and a shift from defined benefit to defined contribution pension schemes to name a few,” he said.

Lloyds is currently responsible for nearly a quarter of the UK current account market.

The new strategy talk comes barely a month after Lloyds chief executive António Horta-Osório implemented a major restructuring of the bank, including a big managerial reshuffle.

It also follows speculation in the City of London that Horta-Osório, was planning to leave Lloyds once the bank was back in private ownership following its rescue by the government during the financial crisis.

The UK government sold its remaining stake in the bank last May.

There has also been speculation that Lloyds was seeking a buyer for Scottish Widows, the Edinburgh-based life, pensions and investment company.

Scotland’s Standard Life was rumoured as a potential buyer but that company has since gone on to merge with Aberdeen Asset Management in a deal which completed on Monday.

Scottish Widows, meanwhile, has been revamping its mortgage business, launching a retirement guide aimed at financial advisers and is reportedly considering buying Zurich’s platform, which holds a mixture of workplace and advised assets with the majority held in pension wrappers.

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