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In line with the move, Lloyds increased its net new money target to around £40 billion in 2023.
British financial institution Lloyds Banking Group PLC is set to buy major WealthTech player Embark Group for £390 million. The UK banking giant will acquire £35 billion of assets under administration from the Dundee-based retirement solutions provider. The deal, which is Lloyds’ biggest since it returned to private ownership four years ago, will also see it inherit about 410,000 customers. However, Embark’s Rowanmoor SIPP and SSAS administration are excluded from the package deal and will be retained by existing shareholders.
Lloyds Banking Group’s Plans to Buy Embark
The newly acquired business consolidates Lloyds’ existing partnerships which caters to the more complex financial planning and investment requirements of mass-affluent and high net-worth customers. It currently provides this offering through Schroeders Personal Wealth and Cazenove. The banking group hopes to leverage the technology platform that Embark provides to increase its investment offerings using WealthTech. Under the arrangement, Embark will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scottish Widows Group, with the acquisition expected to complete in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approval.
Lloyds 2021 Financial Numbers Against Past Results
On Thursday, Lloyds posted a 2.1 billion pound ($2.92 bn) pretax profit for the second quarter of 2021. This figure was substantially higher than the projected profit estimate of £1.23 billion for the said period, according to its compiled consensus. At the same time last year, the financial institution lost £676 million, considering the prevailing circumstances with the pandemic. In 2019, the British bank reported a profit of £1.29 billion for the same period.
In addition to its reported Q2 pretax profit for 2021, Lloyds also indicated impairments of £333 million, showing a recovering economy up from £323 million in the previous quarter. There was an increase in net income from £3.46 billion to £3.90 billion at the same time in 2020, and to £4.40 billion back in 2019. This was higher than the 3.69 billion pounds projected by the bank’s compiled consensus. Lloyds ended the period with a common equity Tier 1 ratio of 16.7%, a key measure of balance sheet strength. It also declared an interim dividend of 0.67 pence per share.
Lloyd’s WealthTech Ambitions With Embark
In line with the move, Lloyds increased its net new money target to around £40 billion in 2023. This is in line with its 2021 strategic review, to reflect its increased growth and potential.
The new Lloyds arrangement will see Embark a new chief executive. The new CEO will be Widows Group managing director for pensions, stockbroking, and distribution, Jackie Leiper. Furthermore, Lloyds also intends to “work closely” with Embark’s existing asset management partners, BlackRock and Franklin Templeton. The banking group intends to a top-three position in different facets. These include direct-to-consumer, robo-advice, and self-directed businesses.