Combined GWP of two groups could create a top 10 insurer

HBOS have confirmed they are in advanced discussions with Lloyds TSB over the possibility of a merger following a turbulent few days for its share price on the stock market.

In a statement, HBOS said: “In the light of market speculation, the Board of HBOS plc confirms that it is in advanced talks with Lloyds TSB Group plc which may or may not lead to an offer being made for HBOS.”

At 1530, HBOS shares were trading at 170.20p, a fall of 11.80p for the day. Morning trading saw shares drop below 100p before rallying.

Insurance Times’ Top 50 Insurers supplement ranked HBOS' insurance division at number 12 in November 2007 with a GWP of £1.16bn. Lloyds TSB Group had an annual GWP of £548m making it the 20th largest insurer.

If the groups were to merge, the combined premium would be in excess of the Co-operative and Allianz, breaking into the top 10.

At the time of writing Lloyds TSB shares were trading at just under 300p, up 19.75p for the day.