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Westpac to sell New Zealand life insurance arm for $281 mln to Fidelity

Credit: REUTERS/LOREN ELLIOTT

Westpac Banking Corp said on Tuesday it will sell its life insurance business in New Zealand to Fidelity Life for NZ$400 million ($280.84 million).

Adds background on recent asset sales, details of deal

July 6 (Reuters) - Westpac Banking Corp WBC.AX said on Tuesday it will sell its life insurance business in New Zealand to Fidelity Life for NZ$400 million ($280.84 million).

It marks the latest asset to be offloaded by Australia's second-largest bank over the past year as it doubles down on its core banking operations after a series of scandals ramped up regulatory scrutiny.

"This transaction is the latest step in simplifying our business," Chief Executive Officer Peter King said in a statement.

It is expected the deal will add 7 basis points to Westpac's common equity tier 1 capital and result in a post-tax gain after it is completed by the end of 2021.

Fidelity, New Zealand's largest locally-owned life insurer, will also enter an exclusive 15-year distribution deal with Westpac, the bank said.

Westpac Life New Zealand had annual in-force premiums of NZ$149 million as of the end of March, it said.

($1 = 1.4243 New Zealand dollars)

(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft and Jonathan Oatis)

((NikhilKurian.Nainan@thomsonreuters.com; Twitter: @NikhilKurianN))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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