RBS transfers 15m policies in insurer merger

More than 15 million people will see their policies transferred to a single balance sheet as part of the merger of Royal Bank of Scotland's insurance companies.

The insurance businesses, which include Churchill and First Direct, are undergoing what is known as a "Part VII" restructuring, meaning that business is smoothly transferred from one to the other. An industry expert said that the number of policyholders involved made this the biggest-ever Part VII.

RBS is doing this ahead of an eventual sale or flotation of the insurance division. The European Commission is forcing the divestment as a condition of allowing RBS to be bailed out by the UK taxpayer. RBS needs to cede ownership by 2012.

Accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers and lawyer Norton Rose are part of the restructuring team.

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