Bank aims to grow its commercial insurance business by targeting banking clients and acquisitions

Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) is aiming to become a "top 20 commercial insurance broker" within the next three years.

Peter Thompson, head of partnerships and commercial insurance at Halifax General Insurance Services, described his strategy as "enormously ambitious".

Thompson said the plan to develop HBOS's commercial broking arm involves leveraging off the group's business banking clients. "It's now the right time to try to leverage that relationship," he said.

But Thompson said he was also thinking about wider routes to market, and acquisitions were on his radar.

"I have certainly got an eye on acquisitions," he said. "HBOS as a group has capital to invest that is available."

HBOS currently has commercial gross written premium of about £30m.

Its strategy involves dealing with clients according to their size. Thompson said businesses with turnover of up to £1m would be passed on to Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) through an exclusive arrangement with the insurer.

Businesses with turnover between £1m and £25m received a "full broking solution", from HBOS's commercial broking team and its national network of business insurance managers.

He said businesses with turnover of more than £25m were either serviced by the broking team or passed on to strategic partners Alexander Forbes, Marsh or CBC UK.