Santander confirms Royal Bank of Scotland branch offer
Spanish giant Santander has today confirmed a potential £1.8 billion for the 318 Royal Bank of Scotland branches which are up for auction. It is believed that Santander is the only firm bidder for the branches despite the fact that a number of parties came forward when the auction process began. The branches are being sold because of an EU ruling in relation to state aid for Royal Bank of Scotland when the company was on the verge of collapse.
Santander has been picking up UK assets for some time now having bought Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and the savings arm of Bradford & Bingley. If the Royal Bank of Scotland offer is successful, as seems likely, the company will have a 14% share of the UK mortgage market and 10% share of the retail savings market. In many ways Santander has been ahead of the game having changed a number of well-known UK brands to the "Santander" brand thereby escaping some of the growing consumer disdain aimed at the UK banking arena.
Many people expect further consolidation in the UK banking sector with the potential for retail banking and investment banking arms to be separated at companies such as Barclays bank.
Tesco to create 800 jobs in finance division
In a bid to grab a significant share of the UK finance market, Tesco has announced the opening of a banking call centre in Glasgow and the creation of 800 jobs. In a further direct attack on the UK banking sector the company will be rebranding its Tesco Personal Finance division as Tesco Bank and will in due course increase the number of products available in the UK.
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Private equity giant applies for British banking licence
It has been revealed that US private equity giant Blackstone has applied for a UK banking licence and could become the latest in a long line of companies looking to take advantage of confusion and disappointment with the traditional UK banking arena. The company is one of the largest buyout operations in the world with experience in many areas of business and contacts aplenty. The rumour is tha...Read More
Complaints about switching bank account up, but scale of problem is small
The British Bankers' Association (BBA) has sought to reassure consumers after the Financial Ombudsman Service recently disclosed that complaints about moving current accounts from one bank to another have risen by 50 per cent in the last year.The number of complaints about switching current accounts has gone up from 1,200 to 1,800, but the BBA said that this was still only a problem for "a very ti...Read More
Dormant accounts project 'a success'
Halifax's dormant accounts scheme has successfully reunited 7,200 people with long-lost funds, the firm has said.According to the bank, around £16.6 million has been transferred back to its original owners - an average of £2,300 a time.The scheme was introduced by Halifax in advance of new government legislation, which requires all monies in accounts which have remained untouched for over 15 yea...Read More
Red-faced Barclays shamed by BBC
Barclays faces investigation after a BBC programme revealed that the bank's sales team breached data protection rules and misled customers.BBC's Whistleblower show sent two undercover reporters to work at Barclays call centres for nine-month periods, where they claimed to have witnessed employees making sales calls to people who had requested not to be contacted, accessing client files for no vali...Read More