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Report: Lloyds eyes wealth management expansion

Lloyds Banking Group Plc plans to capitalize on pension reforms in the U.K. to expand its presence in the wealth management business, the Financial Times reported, citing a banker briefed on the plan.

The group's CEO, António Horta-Osório, is working on a strategic plan to be unveiled in February 2018, which will be focused on bancassurance and offering additional pension and investment offerings, one source reportedly said.

The strategic reforms are reportedly aimed at capitalizing on the 2015 U.K. pension freedom reform, which made buying annuities optional and offered access to pension pots, the FT reported Aug. 13.

Lloyds has already effected organizational changes in the run-up to the strategic plan for 2018 to 2020, by expanding the role of Antonio Lorenzo, Lloyds' group director for insurance, to take on responsibility for the wealth segment, among other changes. Another important step is the integration of credit card issuer MBNA Ltd., which was purchased from Bank of America Corporation for €1.9 billion in June, the FT reported.

Lloyds' first-half profit declined to £1.60 billion from £1.79 billion year over year due to sizeable conduct charges from mortgage arrears handling and payment protection insurance, as well as lower trading income.