Lloyds Banking Group will merge its Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical intermediary businesses under the Scottish Widows brand.
From 1 July, Scottish Widows and Clerical Medical will combine to provide a single intermediary sales force and product proposition. It is intended that, over time, the Clerical Medical brand will no longer be used for new business. There will be no change for existing Scottish Widows or Clerical Medical policyholders.
The Scottish Widows brand was chosen following feedback from the group’s key intermediary partners through specially-commissioned market research.
Under the new intermediary proposition, pension products will be provided by Scottish Widows, and onshore and offshore investment products will be provided by Clerical Medical, although the branding will change over time. There is no change for existing Scottish Widows or Clerical Medical customers nor are there plans to move existing customers to new products.
This change will result in the loss of 305 jobs across sales and support teams by the end of July. Lloyds Banking Group expects there will be up to 190 jobs impacted in the sales teams and a further 115 jobs at risk in customer services. Separately, 20 new roles have been created nationally to strengthen the existing employee benefits consultancy sales team.
The unions Accord, LTU and Unite have been consulted and will continue to be consulted throughout this process. Where it is necessary for staff to leave the company, the group will look at making less use of contractors and voluntary severance. It has said compulsory redundancies will be a last resort.
Archie Kane, group executive director insurance, Lloyds Banking Group said,“This is the first step in our aim to establish one simplified organisation. We are mindful of the rich heritage and strength of the Clerical Medical brand, however, our research has shown Scottish Widows is the most recognised and trusted brand in the marketplace.
“Today’s announcement takes us a step closer to achieving our vision: to be recognised as the best life, pension and investment company by our customers, colleagues and shareholders. In doing so, we are bringing together the best of both of our heritage companies to provide a very strong platform for the future.”