Regulators approve Royal London/Co-op deal

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The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has approved the change in control required for the purchase of Co-operative Banking Group's life insurance business Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS) by mutual Royal London.

Royal London has also received the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA's) approval for purchase of the Co-operative’s asset management business - Co-operative Asset Management .

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 in June.

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.

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.”

Co-operative Banking Group CEO Niall Booker  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.

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