Direct Line Group

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Direct Line Insurance Group plc
Traded as LSEDLG
Industry Insurance
Founded February 2012[1]
Headquarters Bromley, Kent,
United Kingdom
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Mike Biggs
Paul Geddes
(Chief Executive)[2]
Products General insurance, finance
Revenue £ 3,269.8 million (2015)[3]
£ 545.1 million (2015)[3]
£ 580.4 million (2015)[3]
Number of employees
13,900 (2015)[4]
Subsidiaries Direct Line
Green Flag

Direct Line Insurance Group is a United Kingdom insurance company, formed in 2012 by the divestment of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group's (RBS) insurance division through an initial public offering. The company owns a number of insurance subsidiaries providing various insurance products, including Direct Line and Churchill, as well as the roadside assistance and vehicle recovery provider Green Flag.

The group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.


The company was originally established in 1985 by Peter Wood and Martin Long as the insurance division of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS).[5] It was the first telephone-only insurance company in the UK.[5] In September 2012, the Group's Chief Executive, Paul Geddes, announced the business was "operating as a standalone insurance company", in advance of a future full divestment from the RBS Group.[6] The company was the subject of an initial public offering (IPO) in October 2012.[7] RBS sold a 30% share of the business in the IPO, and sold a further 17% in March 2013, reducing its holding in the business to 48.5%.[8] RBS sold a further 20% in September 2013,[9] and sold the remainder of its holding in February 2014.[10]

Direct Line sold its TRACKER Network UK telematics business to the private equity firm Lysanda in February 2014.[11]

In September 2014, it was announced that Mapfre would acquire the Italian and German businesses of Direct Line for a sum of €550 million.[12]


The Group owns a number of general insurance brands operating within the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany primarily, including Direct Line, Churchill, Privilege and Green Flag.

Direct Line is a company that specialises in selling insurance and other financial services, sold directly to consumers by telephone and the internet .It was the first telephone insurer in the United Kingdom, when launched by founder Peter Wood in 1985.[13] In October 2012, it became one of the main operating businesses of Direct Line Group, when that company floated on the London Stock Exchange.[7] The firm is known in the United Kingdom for its distinctive logo, a red telephone on wheels, used extensively in its marketing. It operates in various overseas countries, including Japan (in partnership with Yasuda Life)[14] and Spain (partnership with Bankinter).


  1. ^ Alex Brownsell (9 February 2012). "RBS Insurance division to rebrand as Direct Line Group". Marketing. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Board". Direct Line Group. 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Direct Line Group. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "Group profile". Direct Line Group. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Halifax opens fire in motor cover war". London: The Daily Telegraph. 10 January 2001. 
  6. ^ "Direct Line nears RBS separation". BBC News. 3 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Direct Line IPO 'priced to go' at 175p". The Telegraph. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  8. ^ Steve Slater (13 March 2013). "RBS races ahead with Direct Line sell-off". Reuters. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "RBS makes £630m from sale of 20% of Direct Line". BBC News. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "RBS set to make £1bn from remaining Direct Line stake". BBC News. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "BRIEF-Direct Line completes sale of UK tracker network". Reuters. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  12. ^ Spain's Mapfre to buy Direct Line's German, Italian units for $700 million. Reuters, 25 September 2014
  13. ^ "Halifax opens fire in motor cover war". London: The Daily Telegraph. 10 January 2001. 
  14. ^ "Yasuda joins Direct Line on variable-risk auto insurance". The Japan Times. 1999-10-13. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 

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