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Lloyds Says Has No Plans To Sell Stake In St James's Place

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, London, 29 July 2010

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Lloyds Banking Group – now part nationalised by the UK government – has said it has no intention of selling its majority stake in wealth management firm St James’s Place at the present time, responding to speculation of such a move, according to Reuters.

"The directors recognise that there has been growing uncertainty over the intentions of our majority shareholder... Lloyds has indicated that it has no intention to sell down or dispose of its stake in St. James's Place at this time," the company said in a statement yesterday.

Along with its UK rival, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds has been looking to spin off certain assets as part of its move to pay back taxpayers’ bailout funds. WealthBriefing understands that neither bank is looking to exit the wealth management business – on the contrary, both firms have repeatedly said they regard this sector as positive for their own growth.

Yesterday, St James's Place said it logged a 60 per cent jump in operating earnings to £162.1 million (around $252.7 million) in the first six months compared with the same period a year ago. It also said it logged net inflows of client money of £1.5 billion, a rise of 50 per cent, leaving funds under management at £22.4 billion.

Total new business went up 44 per cent to £292.6 million from £203 million in 2009, meanwhile, total single investments amounted to £2.4 billion, up 60 per cent from £1.5 billion.

St. James’s Place’s net profit went up to £36.3 million, increasing by 82 per cent from £20 million in comparison with 2009.

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