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Aviva considers sale of US life assurance business

British insurer could raise £1bn by exiting US market.

Aviva is considering the sale of its life assurance business in the US, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The British insurer's chief executive, Andrew Moss, recently told a group of investment bankers the company would look at offers for the division, those present at the meetings since revealed to the FT.

The US business was largely acquired by Aviva in 2006 for £2bn. Despite an operating profit improvement of 13 per cent last year, Aviva USA suffered a 17 per cent fall in sales of its fixed indexed annuities product.

Aviva is Britain's leading insurance provider and the sixth-largest insurance company in the world. The Iowa-based Aviva USA division accounted for 8 per cent of its £2.5bn operating profits in 2011.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.