Lloyds TSB Insurance is aiming to sell 500,000 private car policies a year, according to acting managing director Mike Mitchell. In 2002, it is understood the bancassurer sold 300,000 motor policies.

The personal lines giant claims it benefited from an 84% surge in motor policies in the first half of the year, and Mitchell wants it to grow further.

He said: "The first half of the year saw a big rise in motor business so this is an area we are aiming to expand. We'd like to generate half a million motor policies annually, within the next couple of years."

The bullish outlook was delivered as Lloyds TSB Insurance revealed it had suffered an 8% drop in pre-tax profits to £355m for the first six months of the year. The fall in profits was caused by a 16% drop in commission income from creditor policies, which it blamed on the downturn in personal loans.

Despite the fall in profitability, Lloyds TSB Insurance posted a 20% surge in its household premiums income to £198m in the first half of 2003, which in turn fuelled an 11% rise in underwriting income to £261m. It also claimed it is the largest distributor of personal lines general insurance in the UK.

"With over 9 million policies in force as at 30 June 2003, an increase of 7% from 30 June 2002, Lloyds

TSB Insurance is the largest distributor of personal lines general insurance in the UK," it said.