Lloyds Banking Group said it has sold its German life insurance business to a joint venture owned by Cinven Partners LLP and Hannover Re for €300m.

The sale comes as it moves to bolster its balance sheet at home and shed businesses overseas.

The part-nationalised bank said the cash from the sale of Heidelberger Lebensversicherung will be used for general corporate purposes.

British regulators have ordered UK banks to shore up their balance sheets to prevent a repeat of the 2008 banking crisis.

The sale is also in line with Lloyds' efforts to focus on Britain. In 2011, Lloyds was present in 30 countries - this year it was in 11.

Heidelberger Leben, with €7.2 billion in assets, provides pension, investment and insurance products.