Banco Santander Central Hispano-owned Abbey has completed the sale of its life businesses to Resolution, the UK-based life funds manager.

Abbey retains all of its branch-based investment and asset management business; James Hay, its market-leading self-invested personal pension company; and its Wrap business.

Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of Abbey, said: This is an excellent transaction for Abbey. It has provided us with a clean exit from ownership of the life businesses and we are now focusing on delivering our ambitious plans to grow significantly our share of the UK investment and pensions market, through both the retail and intermediary channels.

Paul Thompson, group chief executive of Resolution said: We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of Abbey’s Life Businesses and are confident of delivering an internal rate of return from this transaction of at least 16%, post leverage, to shareholders. Our 100 day integration plan commences today, following a period of intensive preparation.

Resolution has acquired Scottish Provident, Scottish Mutual Assurance, Scottish Provident International Life Assurance, Scottish Mutual International and Abbey National Life.