Insurance firm Allstate has appointed Lehman Brothers to plan the moves for the purchase of Royal Bank of Scotland's insurance arm, which includes the Direct Line and Churchill brands.

The Independent has reported that Giles Harrison, head of Lehman’s Financial Institutions Group, will be responsible for the RBS bid on behalf of Allstate.

Germany-based Allianz, US-based Travelers, and Switzerland-based Zurich are also in the race to bid for the GBP6 billion insurance business of RBS.