UK banking group Lloyds TSB has reportedly finally initiated the anticipated sale of its closed life insurance business Abbey Life, by sending information out to interested bidders.

The Financial Times reported that the bank had sent out information about the business to potential bidders, which are rumored to include Swiss Re, Resolution and Sun Capital. This move follows months of speculation that Lloyds TSB would divest the business in order to focus on its retail banking division.

Having closed to new business in 2000, Abbey Life holds a portfolio containing around GBP12 billion of policyholder assets, The Times revealed. The sale of Abbey Life is expected to fetch around GBP1 billion, which Lloyds TSB will inject into its retail banking and wholesale unit.

All companies have so far declined to comment on the move.