And also this week …

ABI?interim appointment

ABI director of life and savings Maggie Craig has been appointed interim director-general of the association while a replacement for Stephen Haddrill is recruited. Haddrill, who resigned in May, is moving to the Financial Reporting Council. An ABI spokesman said: “Discussions are well advanced as to the appointment of Stephen’s successor.”

ING insurance sale

Dutch banking and insurance group ING, which owns ING Direct in the UK, has put its insurance operations on the market. The move follows a bail-out from the Dutch government.

Pamplona boosts stake

Pamplona Capital Management is believed to have upped its stake in Chaucer to 16%. The private equity firm, which was caught in a bidding war for the Lloyd’s insurer with Brit over the summer, previously held a 9.99% stake. It has been waiting for FSA permission before boosting its holding. Pamplona has said that it wants to acquire up to 29.9% of Chaucer. Chaucer declined to comment.

Close signs with open GI

Close Premium Finance has agreed a three-year contract with Open GI. Close sales and marketing director Tim Wilson said: “Open GI works with a very wide UK broker base and continues to expand its overall footprint. This benefits us both in providing leading solutions to our existing brokers, and in terms of access to new business opportunities.”

Allianz opens in Bristol

Allianz Commercial has opened a new office in Bristol to service the 850,000 small business customers of Lloyds Banking Group.