Hill Samuel to keep Jersey brand in Lloyds/TSB merger

HILL Samuel's Jersey-based private banking operations will remain unchanged when parent bank Lloyds/TSB unveils its merged offshore retail banking operations in the New Year, says Lloyds/TSB Jersey director Mark Smith.

Both Hill Samuel and Lloyds' private banking operations will continue to operate separately with distinct brands and client lists. Hill Samuel has built a strong business on the back of its trusts and company administration side, he says. “The businesses are sufficiently separate, and the brands different, for us not to merge them but for the two to leverage off one another.”

The Hill Samuel group has gone through a major restructure over the last few years.

Hill Samuel's Jersey-based private banking business is the core business remaining of Hill Samuel Banking. Its Jersey-based offshore funds are distributed in the UK through Hill Samuel Asset Management's (HSAM) network of IFAs.

HSAM now acts as the fund manager for Lloyds/TSB and distributes the Jersey range of offshore funds to UK clients. Its domestic life assurance operation was closed to new business in 1994 and is currently being merged with Abbey Life.

Lloyds/TSB in the Channel Islands has been able to move its merger plans through the local legislature far faster than in the UK. The group has been working on three pilot merger plans over the last 18 months since Lloyds Bank announced it would merge with its high-street rival TSB.

Smith expects the legal process in the islands to be completed by the New Year when the group will launch its merged offshore retail business in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. The bank's client base includes local island residents, offshore expatriate business from the UK and international account holders.

The merged bank plans to unveil a new range of products for the offshore market in January but Smith would give no further details.