Leading global reinsurance group Swiss Re has made moves towards a bid for Scottish Widows, the insurance arm of Lloyds TSB Group, The Business newspaper has reported, citing bankers familiar with the source.

The report claims that Swiss Re’s interest comes as a group of investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Lehman Brothers, have joined forces in an attempt to engineer the sale of Scottish Widows.

The group is said to have tagged Swiss Re and entrepreneur Hugh Osmond as the most likely buyers for the insurer which the newspaper valued at approximately GBP7 billion.

Mr Osmond, who is a major consolidator of insurance businesses, is also believed to have expressed an interest.

However the report also revealed that Lloyd’s chairman Sir Victor Blank had recently stated that speculation surrounding any upcoming sale was misplaced.