Hodge sells life assurance unit to specialist lender

Reinsurance Group of America

Hodge says the sale allows it to focus on scaling its specialist lending business and continue its recent growth in these markets

Financial services firm Hodge has agreed to sell its Hodge Life Assurance unit to the Reinsurance Group of America, as the Cardiff-based group focuses on its specialist lending business.

The group says Hodge Life Assurance will withdraw its products from the market as a result of the deal, ceasing to sell annuities and equity release mortgages.

However, Hodge will continue to sell all other existing products including retirement interest-only and holiday let mortgages and “remain committed to the later life and specialist lending market”.

Hodge says the sale, for an undisclosed fee, allows it “to focus on scaling its specialist lending business and continue its recent growth in these markets”.

The group, which owns Hodge Bank, says the deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Hodge Group chief executive David Landen says: This is a significant transaction for Hodge; allowing us to focus and grow across our specialist markets through Hodge Bank. Later life lending remains a key part of our business and we will continue to evolve and develop our product range.

Landen adds: As a result of the sale, we are withdrawing from the equity release market. However, as the longest established equity release lender in the UK, we are looking at opportunities to re-enter this market soon, working with third-party funders.

RGA executive vice president, global financial solutions Larry Carson says the acquisition “demonstrates RGA’s continued strong support of the UK market and our commitment to working with our clients around the world to provide capital and risk-management solutions,” in a separate statement issued on the New York Stock Exchange.

It adds Hodge Life Assurance has annuity liabilities of approximately £570m.

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