Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) has agreed to acquire Zurich’s workplace pensions and savings business in the UK, as part of a plan to further develop its financial planning and retirement business in the country.

Zurich’s workplace pensions and savings business is expected to boost LBG’s Scottish Widows business by adding approximately adding £15bn assets and over 500,000 customers from Zurich insurance.

The acquired business will also provide Scottish Widows with a modern, flexible workplace savings platform to improve its current offering.

With Master Trust and Group Self Invested Personal Pension (GSIPP) solutions, the Zurich Corporate Savings proposition will further boost Scottish Widows’ participation in the large pension scheme sector.

Currently, Scottish Widows manages more than £124bn of funds, of which £35bn is workplace pensions business.

Zurich said that the deal is in line with its strategy to grow in markets where it is performing strongly and further cements its number one position for new sales in corporate protection.

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Zurich has also inked a multi-year, exclusive distribution partnership to provide group life protection solutions to certain corporate clients of LBG’s Commercial Banking services.

Under the terms of the agreement, nearly 200 Zurich employees, including key management, relationship managers, technical experts and operations staff, will be transferred to LBG under a TUPE arrangement.

LBG insurance and wealth director and Scottish Widows CEO Antonio Lorenzo said, “The acquisition of Zurich Corporate Savings complements Scottish Widows’ growth to date and provides us with an ideal opportunity to accelerate our goal to become a market leader in this important sector for advisers and customers.

“Zurich Corporate Savings is highly regarded and has achieved good growth in assets under administration driven through strong relationships with large-scale corporate clients and their intermediaries.

“The greater proposition choice created through this acquisition will help us meet adviser and customer demands and ensure we continue to evolve our service proposition so that we are easy to do business with.”

Zurich UK CEO Tulsi Naidu said, “This new exclusive deal with Lloyds Banking Group broadens our corporate protection distribution footprint.

“To support our other ambitious growth plans, we are also investing in a new multi-million pound retail protection platform and enhancing the range of products on our retail wealth platform.”

The transaction is slated to partially complete during the first quarter of 2018, with subsequent completion and transfer of assets after the required regulatory and legal approvals.