Mutual insurer Liverpool Victoria has denied that it is an the centre of a £3bn takeover battle.

A number of companies are reported to have expressed interest in acquiring the company, with Aegon, the Dutch owners of Scottish Equitable said to be about to table an offer.

But a spokeswoman for Liverpool Victoria dismissed the reports. “There is absolutely no truth in them at this moment in time,” she said. “We have had no bids and if we had, they would be regarded as hostile.”

Aegon was keeping quiet on the matter. A spokeswoman would only say: “The only comment is that there is no comment. When there is something to be said we'll be saying it.”

Liverpool Victoria also dismissed reports that it was itself about to launch a bid – for Scottish Life.