PRA approves Royal London’s acquisition of The Co-operative Group’s life insurance business; FCA approves acquisition of Co-operative’s asset management business

July 26, 2013

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has approved the Change in Control required for the purchase of The Co-operative Banking Group’s life insurance business - Co-operative Insurance Society (“CIS”) by The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited (“Royal London”). Royal London has also received the Financial Conduct Authority’s approval for purchase of the Co-operative’s asset management business - The Co-operative Asset Management Limited - together FCA-regulated subsidiaries of CIS.

This follows the signing of a Sale and Purchase Agreement earlier this year between both parties. In addition, approval has been obtained from Royal London members, who voted overwhelmingly in favour of the transaction at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in June 2013.

As part of the completion process, CIS must convert from an industrial and provident society to a limited company and change its name to RL (CIS) Limited. Shortly following the transfer to Royal London, RL (CIS) Limited's name will change to Royal London (CIS) Limited.

Commenting on today’s announcement Royal London Group Chief Executive, Phil Loney said;

“Today is a significant milestone in the process of buying Co-operative’s life insurance and asset management businesses.  We have the approval of our members and now we have the approval of the PRA and FCA. The transaction can now go forward to completion and we can start to realise the benefits for Royal London members and for the Co-operative’s policyholders.” 

Niall Booker, Chief Executive of The Co-operative Banking Group, added:

“The transfer of ownership of our life assurance and asset management businesses to Royal London will ensure the continued protection of our policyholders, within a strong, mutual business with the necessary scale and focus on the long-term savings sector. We believe this is the best outcome for our policyholders and members.”

Subject to the remaining conditions being satisfied, the transaction is expected to complete on 31 July 2013. Royal London expects to comment further on the Acquisition once completion has taken place.

For further information please contact:

Royal London

Gareth Evans Head of Corporate Affairs - 0207 506 6715 /  07919 170069

Redleaf Polhill

John Coles - 07836 273 660

Co-operative Group

Patrick Tooher Public Relations Business Lead - 07831 314671

Editor’s Notes:

Royal London Group is a specialist financial service provider. Its businesses focus on those sectors of the market which value quality propositions, operating through a number of brands:

  • Scottish Life – UK pensions market
  • Bright Grey – UK protection market
  • Scottish Provident – UK protection market
  • Caledonian Life – ROI protection market
  • Royal London 360° – offshore investment markets
  • RLAM – fund management
  • Royal London Plus – life and pensions administration
  • Ascentric/IFDL – Wrap Platform
  • MoneyVista – online financial planning service for consumers

Royal London is the largest mutual life and pensions company in the UK with Group funds under management of £52.2 billion.  Group businesses serve over 3.6 million customers and employ 3,040 people.  Figures quoted are as at 31 March 2013.

The Co-operative Banking Group, formerly known as The Co-operative Financial Services, is the banking and insurance arm of The Co-operative Group, which is the world’s largest consumer co-operative with around seven million members, over £13 billion turnover, and core business interests in financial services, food, legal services, pharmacy and funeral care.  The Co-operative Group has 4,800 retail trading outlets.

The Co-operative Banking Group has £48 billion in assets, 10,000 staff and more than six million customers.  It has over 300 high street branches, 22 corporate banking centres and major presences in Manchester, Leek, London, Plymouth, Skelmersdale and Stockport.
Co-operative Insurance Society was formed in 1867 and has two million life and savings customers.  Subsidiaries that will transfer to Royal London include CIS Unit Managers Limited, which operates the unit trust business.

The Co-operative Asset Management Ltd (TCAM) is independently authorised by the FSA to provide discretionary asset management services to the IFA and institutional markets.  It manages assets of around £20 billion in a range of investment portfolios for UK intermediaries, pension funds, life companies and other institutional clients.  TCAM has earned recognition as a pioneer in the field of responsible investment, fully integrating consideration of financial and environmental, social and governance issues throughout its investment process.

Forward looking statements

This document may contain forward-looking statements with respect to certain of Royal London’s plans, its current goals and expectations relating to its future financial position.  By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances which are beyond Royal London’s control.  These include, among others, UK economic and business conditions, market-related risks such as fluctuations in interest rates, the policies and actions of governmental and regulatory authorities, the impact of competition, the timing, impact and other uncertainties of future mergers or combinations within relevant industries.

As a result, Royal London’s actual future financial condition, performance and results may differ materially from the plans, goals and expectations set forth in Royal London’s forward-looking statements.  Royal London undertakes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements.