|Headquarters||Bournemouth, United Kingdom|
LV= Liverpool Victoria is one of the UK’s largest insurance companies with over five million customers. They offer a range of products from car, home, pet, travel and life insurance to investment and retirement solutions. LV= is also the UK’s largest friendly society with 5,700 employees.
History and legal constitution
Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited was founded in 1843 as a burial society, and for many decades Liverpool Victoria was most commonly associated with "penny policies" collected door to door by a cross country team of agents to provide a method of saving to people of modest means. Today LV= expresses its mission as enabling people to "look after what they love" by the provision of insurance, investment and retirement solutions.
It is incorporated under the provisions of the Friendly Societies Act 1992 and has its registered address, and head office, at County Gates, Westbourne, Bournemouth BH1 2NF. It is regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
As a mutual company LV has no shareholders and is owned by its members.
Since May 2007 the society has traded under the "LV=" brand.
LV= employs 5,000 people and serves over five million customers with a range of financial products. It is the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.
When it started in 1843 its goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades it was most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today LV= follows a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.
The company offers services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trades unions.
General insurance products covering motor, home, pet, travel and small business insurance are provided by Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited. Some products are sold both directly to the public over the telephone and internet and, under the ABC Insurance brand, through insurance brokers. LV=Broker is a commercial division which sells policies through brokers appointed by the Company, including Business Combined, Property Owners and Motor Trade, This latter distribution channel was boosted in October 2008 by the £150 million acquisition of Highway Insurance Group PLC, following a successful public offering for its shares. Since 2007 the general insurance division has also owned Britannia Rescue, the UK's fourth largest road rescue business, which in 2009 won a contract to be the exclusive provider of road rescue services to the customers of Asda. General insurance products are also sold through white label partnership arrangements including Nationwide Building Society, and CSMA Club, the latter arrangement dating back to 1923.
Life assurance products covering with-profits assurance, term assurance, whole life insurance and pensions are provided by Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited and Liverpool Victoria Life Company Limited. Since January 2008 the product range has been augmented by flexible retirement solutions and equity release schemes through the acquisition from Swiss Re of the former G E Life businesses in the United Kingdom.
In 1999 Liverpool Victoria was heavily criticised in a report by the Personal Investment Authority for "serious and widespread compliance failings" including hiring inept staff who offered customers poor financial advice. The Society was fined £900,000, the largest fine ever handed out by the PIA at the time.
In August 2011 it was announced that the fund management services and OEICS provided by Liverpool Victoria Asset Management Limited and Liverpool Victoria Portfolio Managers Limited would be transferred to Threadneedle Asset Management as LV= had failed to achieve sufficient scale, despite having some £8 billion of funds under management.
Liverpool Victoria Banking Services Limited provided loans and credit cards until 2007 when this business was closed following heavy losses. In 2008 the company was fined £840,000 by the FSA in connection with its past sale of payment protection insurance alongside loans.
Brand and image
Following the appointment of Mike Rogers as the new Chief Executive in 2006, LV= has undergone significant change in an effort to modernise its image and to re-invent itself in the face of the gradual industry-wide decline in with-profits assurance.
LV= and LV.com
In early 2007 the name Liverpool Victoria was dropped (although it remains the formal name of most legal entities within the group) in favour of LV=. A distinctive green heart icon stylized from the letter 'V' has also become a symbol of the group in its advertising, playing on the visual similarity of LV= to the word LOVE. Shortly after the rebranding LV= acquired the internet domain name LV.com, which the French luxury goods manufacturer Louis Vuitton had in November 2006 failed to acquire through a WIPO law suit.
In recent years the society has promoted itself through sponsorship of sport. As Liverpool Victoria, it sponsored the UK Snooker Championship from 1997–2000. It has sponsored the cricket County Championship since 2002, initially (2002–2005) as Frizzell (the name of an old established insurance business acquired in 1996), in 2006 as Liverpool Victoria and since 2007 as LV=. In rugby union, LV= signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Premiership club Harlequins in October 2008, and in October 2009 signed a two-year deal to become title sponsor of the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
In 2007, for the first time in the society's history, television advertising was employed for car insurance and life assurance, the former featuring the song Have Love, Will Travel, and the latter featuring Cilla Black.
- Group Chief Executive's Statement LV 2008 Report and Accounts
- Financial Services Authority Register
- Highway Insurance agrees 150 million pound takeover Reuters, 28 August 2008
- Highway Insurance Group PLC: Offer by Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited declared Wholly Unconditional, 9 October 2008
- Britannia Rescue lands contract to supply to Leeds-based Asda The Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 12 March 2009
- Nationwide and LV team up Only Insurance.com, 2 June 2008
- Nationwide expands insurance offering with LV Insurance Daily, 2 December 2008
- csma Club website
- LV= 2007 Report and Accounts p9
- Liverpool Victoria fined £0.9m BBC News, Business, Your Money, 27 January 1999
- Threadneedle formally acquires LV= funds business efinancialnews.com 16 August 2011 accessed 18 October 2011
- LV 2007 Report and Accounts p16
- FSA Register
- Sum of all changes for Liv Vic overhaul is LV=[dead link] Financial Adviser, March 2007
- With Profits: Down But Not Out IFA Online, April 2006
- With-profits industry in "terminal decline", BBC News 20 August 2003
- Liverpool Victoria blows £2m to become LV=, The Register, 22 March 2007
- Tournament Histories – The UK Championship Global Snooker Centre
- Liverpool Victoria sponsor Championship ECB Press Release 14 September 2005
- Liverpool Victoria to buy Frizzell, The Independent, 8 February 1996
- ECB Website
- LV= kick off Harlequins sponsorship PRLog 23 October 2008
- "LV= sponsors rugby's Anglo-Welsh Tournament" (Press release). Rugby Football Union. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- LV= Car insurance advertisement Youtube.com
- LV= 50 Plus advertisement Youtube.com