L&G lines up £15bn to boost growth in the UK

Legal & General's boss, Nigel Wilson, said the insurer has held "encouraging" talks with policymakers about using £15bn of its own cash to boost the UK economy.

L&G hopes to use some of its £433bn in assets under management to invest in transport, energy and property projects. Mr Wilson believes insurers and pension funds can fill a void left by the banks.

"As the largest shareholder in the UK, we're encouraging companies to use the hundreds of billions of pounds they are sitting on to boost infrastructure. The UK is a great place to do business and we all must capitalise on its strengths," he said yesterday. "We're pleased with the dialogue we've had with government and I believe there is a desire to see companies like us invest more. We've also spoken to Boris Johnson [the London Mayor] about building more housing in London."

L&G raised its interim dividend by 22 per cent to 2.4p after a strong start to 2013. It posted pre-tax profits of £592m in the six months ending 30 June and assets in its fund management arm increased from £406bn at the end of last year to £433bn.