RBS mulls Direct Line, Churchill sale

Royal Bank of Scotland is in the process of appointing advisers to review the options for its insurance business, including a possible sale, according to reports.

RBS has indicated previously it would prefer to float its insurance arm, which includes popular brands Churchill and Direct Line. But the group reportedly launched a “beauty parade” for advisers last week to review the option of a sale, according to a source.

Speculation suggested that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and US group Allstate Corp may be interested in making a bid.

RBS, which is 83% backed by the taxpayer, has to offload the car and home insurance operation by the end of 2012 under European Union rules on accepting government aid. However, selling a company of Direct Line’s size could take 18 months of groundwork.

Last week, RBS announced that it would sell half of its insurance offices. The unit also recently reported a £253m loss, compared with a profit of £217m in the first half of last year and a £66m profit for the whole of 2009. The vehicle insurance business has been suffering a large amount of claims at the hands of the rising incidence of no-win-no-fee cases.

Last week, RBS announced that it was to end its sponsorship of The Open golf championship after nine years. However, the bank maintained that its involvement with sports would continue going forward. No replacement sponsor has been found yet.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here