Lloyds to sell HBOS portfolio management unit to Rathbone

British banking and insurance major, Lloyds Banking Group Plc (Lloyds) is in talks with Rathbone Brothers Plc (Rathbone), an investment management firm, over the possible sale of some of its private client assets, as part of its drive to streamline HBOS operations.

The bank said yesterday in a brief statement: ''Lloyds Banking Group Plc confirms it is in discussions with Rathbone Brothers Plc regarding the possible sale of assets relating to certain non core private client discretionary investment management activities, principally the Bank of Scotland portfolio management service.''

London-based Lloyds Banking Group is a large financial institution formed after the merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS in January 2009. HBOS is the holding company  for Bank of Scotland Plc, which operated the Bank of Scotland and the Halifax (United_Kingdom_bank)> brands; HBOS Australia, and HBOS Insurance & Investment Group Limited, the group's insurance division. (See: Lloyds takes over HBOS in $21.7 billion deal with British PM Brown's support) 

The UK government holds 43.4-per cent stake in the banking major.

The statement said that discussions are ongoing but there is no certainty that a transaction will proceed.

The news follows an earlier announcement that Lloyds is looking to offload its Halifax Estate Agencies business. Two months ago the bank sold its Insight Investment Management business to Bank of New York Mellon for £235 million.