The chair of the the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Mutuals has written to the Pensions Regulator seeking more information about the proposed sale and demutualisation of LV=.
Labour/Co-op MP Gareth Thomas, who chairs the APPG, wrote to Charles Counsell, CEO of the regulator, to ask what communication it has had from LV=.
The APPG – made up of peers and MPs from across the political party spectrum – issued a highly critical report on the proposed sale in April, and since then has written to a number of leading figures involved, including LV=’s chair and the governor of the Bank of England.
In his letter to Mr Counsell, Mr Thomas asked what discussions he has had about “the future pensions, savings and life insurance business of Liverpool Victoria (LV)”.
He asked if the board of LV= have asked the Pension Regulator to review the impact of the sale to Bain Capital on its pension arrangements for staff – and if not, whether the regulator will use its authority to encourage or compel the board to engage with it.
“Specifically,” he adds, “will you discuss with LV=’s board what they have done with the £1.078bn they received from the sale of the LV General Insurance Group to Allianz, completed in January 2020?
“Has any of this money been invested in the staff pension fund to meet future obligations or is it being held back to fund windfall payments for loss of ownership rights to help persuade the customer/owners of Liverpool Victoria to vote for the demutualisation and sale to Bain? Or is it being held back for some other purpose?”
Mr Thomas added: “There remains continuing concern that LV=’s decision to a convert from a friendly society to a company limited by guarantee was the unstated, always denied first step towards demutualisation – what is your assessment of this question?”
A spokesperson for LV= said: “It’s not for us to comment on a letter to the pensions regulator but they have been kept informed of the proposed transaction with Bain Capital.”