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Change is a 'technical switch' says bank

Lloyds plays down impact of switch from Widows to London

Scottish WidowsLloyds has played down the effect of a “technical switch” that has moved some of its insurance business from Scottish Widows in Edinburgh to London.

Long-term insurance has been consolidated in a company registered in London to “simplify the structure”, it said.

Approval for the change was obtained in the High Court in London at the end of last year, resulting in all the policies of group companies such as Clerical Medical Managed Funds, Halifax Life, Pensions Management, Scottish Widows, Scottish Widows Annuities, Scottish Widows Unit Funds and St Andrew’s Life Assurance – being transferred to a single entity called Clerical Medical Investment Group.

CMIG was renamed Scottish Widows Limited and its registered office changed to 25 Gresham Street, London – the headquarters of parent firm Lloyds Banking Group, which reports its annual results on Thursday when it is expected to provide more details about the change.

The bank insisted it would have no impact on its 3,000-strong workforce in Edinburgh.

In a statement, it said: “In December last year, we made a technical change to enable us to consolidate all of the long-term UK insurance business of the Scottish Widows Group, previously written in eight authorised entities, into CMIG, which was registered in London. We wrote to our customers last year to inform them of the change.

“As part of this process CMIG was renamed as Scottish Widows Limited. The ultimate parent body, Scottish Widows Group Limited, continues to be registered in Edinburgh, as does Lloyds Banking Group.

“This has no impact on the operations of the business, those who work for Scottish Widows, or our customers. Our headquarters and the majority of our staff are in Edinburgh, as they have been since we were founded over 200 years ago.

“The purpose was to simplify the structure of the insurance business which will make us more efficient, ease regulatory reporting requirements and help the group make better use of our resources.”

The freehold on the Widows head office opposite the EICC was sold last year to an overseas investor for £105 million.

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