U.K.’s Abbey National to Increase Insurance Operations

January 10, 2001

Abbey National, Britain’s largest mortgage lender, plans to significantly expand its general insurance business by 40 percent over the next three years.

Abbey, which is currently in merger talks with the Bank of Scotland, and is also being pursued by Lloyds TSB, the U.K.’s largest retail bank, has long offered home owners policies and various types of credit protection insurance through an exclusive deal with Norwich Union. This arrangement will continue, but it plans to offer other lines on a more competitive basis, initially automobile and travel coverage.

Abbey plans to establish working relationships with Capita Group Plc. and with insurer CGNU, which acquired Norwich Union last year. It will “invest £50 million ($75 million) over three years to build a single platform with new products,” Reuters News Agency reported.

Reuters quoted a statement by Andrew Pole, Abbey’s head of retail banking, as stating that “The new arrangements will begin during the first quarter of 2001 and Internet access to a wider range of insurance covers will be launched mid-year. These agreements mean we can grow our general insurance business by delivering real customer choice and value.”|”u.k.’s, abbey, national, increase, insurance, operations

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