Cowdery gets nod from UKFI

RESOLUTION, the buyout vehicle headed by Clive Cowdery, is confident the Treasury would not bar it from bidding for the life insurance assets of Lloyds Banking Group due to its controversial tax-haven status. <br /><br />Cowdery has been given the green light and is now considering a bid for the Lloyds&rsquo; Clerical Medical unit, after dispatching an employee to talk to UK Financial Investments (UKFI), the body that runs the Treasury&rsquo;s bank holdings.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br />The representative was assured that a bid by Resolution, despite being based in Guernsey, would be treated in the same way as any international bid, such as one from a US company. <br /><br />This comes despite high-profile government opposition to tax havens like Guernsey, which has less transparent tax laws and has less rigorous accounting standards than the UK.<br /><br />Resolution&rsquo;s talks with UKFI, came after a research note this month.<br /><br />The note, issued by Keefe, Bruyette &amp; Woods&rsquo; Greig Paterson, warned the government would be likely to oppose a Resolution bid.<br /><br />Cowdery faced fierce criticism over the vehicle&rsquo;s tax-haven domicile during a protracted fight to secure life insurer Friends Provident&rsquo;s approval for a takeover bid this month.<br /><br />The 177-year old blue chip firm Friends Provident&rsquo;s initially described a potential bid from Resolution as &ldquo;totally inappropriate&rdquo;.