Lloyds Banking Group has appointed Nick Prettejohn, former chief executive of Lloyd's of London and of Prudential UK and Europe, as chairman of Scottish Widows Group.

Mr Prettejohn will take on the role as the newest non-executive director on the board of Lloyds Banking Group. The Scottish Widows board, required as a separate entity by insurance regulation, has six executives and five other non-executives. The bank's chairman, Lord Blackwell, said Mr Prettejohn's appointment would allow him to step down as chairman of Scottish Widows and concentrate on chairing the banking group.

The insurance industry veteran takes over at the helm of a slimmed-down Widows, following the £550m sale of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership to Aberdeen Asset Management in a deal concluded on April 1. SWIP employed around 500 mainly in Edinburgh. A Lloyds spokesman said it was impossible to say how many were employed by Scottish Widows as its activities were so embedded within the group. But he estimated that around 3,000 of Lloyds' total 18,000 headcount were employed in Scottish Widows life and pensions activity, most of them in Scotland.

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Mr Prettejohn's credentials were enhanced by a spell on the board of the new banking regulator the Prudential Regulation Authority, which he joined last June. Last month he said he was stepping down in favour of a "future outside regulation". He spent six years running Lloyd's of London, moving to the Prudential in 2006 where he was tipped for the top job in 2009, but quit after it was handed to finance director Tidjane Thiam.