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Daily Insurance Industry News
Sunday 18th of November 2018
July 28, 2008

Swiss Re tempted by Barclays Life Assurance

by Gill Montia

Story link: Swiss Re tempted by Barclays Life Assurance

Swiss Re tempted by Barclays Life Assurance

Swiss Re is reported to be showing an interest in the life assurance division of Barclays.

Barclays Life Assurance was created from the merger of Woolwich Life and Barclays Life in 2003.

It is closed to new business but has over one million policy holders and in excess of £7 billion under management. The division currently pays pensions to over 70,000 policyholders.

A sale of the business, which is seen as non-core to Barclays, could raise up to £750 million, although the figure could be much less.

Like other leading UK banks, Barclays is interested in bolstering its balance sheet to offset credit crisis losses.

Earlier this month Barclays raised £4.5 billion in an “open” rather than a “rights” issue which attracted investment from Asian and Middle Eastern investors.

By negotiating the sale of new shares to foreign investors the group avoiding the problems with volatile share prices encountered by the rights issues of HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Swiss Re’s interest in the business will come as no surprise as last year, the group failed to acquire closed life fund consolidator, Resolution, which was eventually bought by Pearl.

 

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