The agreement was announced to the Stock Exchange on Monday. It will be effective from November 1, when HSBC’s £440 million fleet will transfer to Lex. HSBC will continue to own and manage customer relationships, while Lex will provide the supporting customer service and vehicle management.
About 200 customer service roles will transfer to Lex as part of the agreement, which remains subject to regulatory approval.
The firms are two of the biggest leasing companies in the UK, with Lex operating about 130,000 vehicles and HSBC about 90,000 vehicles. Although details of ownership of the fleet has yet to be confirmed, the deal could create a combined fleet of more than 200,000. Lex Vehicle Leasing has enjoyed significant success by offering rivals white label back office services.
Previously, it took on the Business Partner fleet, whose leasing brands cover most of the Ford empire, including Ford, Jaguar and Land Rover.
Lex Vehicle Leasing is jointly-owned by HBOS and RAC. The RAC was recently bought by Aviva, the owner of Norwich Union, in an estimated £1.1 billion deal.
Industry insiders have suggested that HBOS might act to purchase the remaining half share of LVL as a result of the RAC sale, in a move which would signal further upheaval for the fleet industry.