May 15, 2012 / 2:53 PM / in 6 years

Canada's Sun Life plans sale of British arm: Sky

LONDON (Reuters) - Canadian financial services firm Sun Life Financial (SLF.TO) plans to sell its British life insurance unit to avoid tough new capital requirements for European insurers, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Sun Life’s British division was not immediately reachable for comment.

Sun Life has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to auction the business, which could fetch 1 billion pounds ($1.61 billion), Sky said.

The planned sale comes in response to the European Union’s proposed Solvency II capital regime for insurers, expected to usher in tougher reserving requirements for much of the industry when it takes effect in 2014, the broadcaster added.

Sun Life’s British unit manages about 11.8 billion pounds of assets and was closed to new business in December 2010. ($1 = 0.6210 British pounds)

Reporting by Myles Neligan; editing by Matt Scuffham

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