Bank made promise to government to lend to UK businesses

Lloyds Banking Group is hunting for fresh clients in the insurance sector as part of its commitment to lend $14bn (£8.5bn) to the UK economy.

Head of relationship management, financial institutions, Bill Cooper said the bank was particularly keen to lend to the insurance sector, which had performed well compared with other areas of the economy.

He said Lloyds had promised the government it would aim to lend $14bn during 2009 and 2010.

Cooper said: “Because of the transaction we did with HBOS and the government, we have to offer to provide financing to support the UK economy.

“Clearly, we are looking for good ways to do that. We have strong relationships in the insurance sector – and we are looking for new clients there.

“The starting point is usually lending. We will then build broader relationships with clients and offer advice and strategy where we can.”

The government, which owns a 40% stake in Lloyds Banking Group, approved its takeover of the troubled Halifax Bank of Scotland in January this year.