L&G plans to invest £15bn in UK infrastructure

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Legal & General is planning to invest up to £15bn of its investment funds into UK infrastructure over the next decade.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, L&G chief executive Nigel Wilson said as banks pull back from infrastructure investment insurers will look to fill the gap.

He said: “We have got about £3bn of investment in infrastructure in the UK, but we probably have up to £15bn to put into UK infrastructure and direct investment from L&G’s annuities portfolio.

“In the next 10 years it will be the insurers and pension funds that will be funding UK infrastructure investments, rather than the banks.”

Wilson has rejected possible investment in the High Speed 2 rail link between London and the North, arguing it delivers “little economic benefit” for the £43bn it is costing.

Instead, he favours investing in housebuilding and regional development. L&G has already invested £500m into student accommodation, and taken a 46 per cent stake in housebuilder Cala Group.

The insurer has also invested in the St George’s Park National Football Centre at Burton Upon Trent.

Wilson told the newspaper: “If there is capital available, you would be thinking of spending it on building more homes rather than spending £43bn on rail when there is a desperate shortage of housing.

“If we want to develop the regions then let’s develop regional plans. Just building a slightly improved rail service will not necessarily do that.

L&G will post its half-year results tomorrow, when it is expected to post a rise in operating profits from £518m to £582m.