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.
Is the UK building society sector really on a knife edge?
A quick glimpse at the financial press at the weekend would suggest that the UK building society sector is in serious trouble. However, while the problems at the Dunfermline building Society have grabbed the headlines it is worth remembering that the building society sector is run on a very different basis to that of the UK banking sector. The vast majority of building societies depend upon custom...Read More
Irish government steps in to save its own banking system
They could not do it in the US, they keep talking about it in the UK but the Irish government has taken the bold step of guaranteeing the debts and deposits of the country's six largest financial institutions. The move, which has given a massive lift to the sector after weeks of concern, will cost around $700 billion in its entirety but the chances are that the vote of confidence will be enough a...Read More
RBS bank charge verdict document 'leaked'
RBS would look to return bank charges to customers if it lost an ongoing High Court case on the matter, a bank document has indicated.The statement, leaked to the BBC, shows that accounts that were "due a refund" would be "calculated as accurately as possible".Furthermore, the document adds, "any monies will be reconciled".The wording of the leaked statement suggests that RBS, which is involv...Read More
MPs stick the boot in to the FSA
The FSA (Financial Services Authority) has had what you may call "a bad day at the office" today after receiving severe criticism from MPs regarding the handling of the Dunfermline building society collapse. Despite receiving the backing of Gordon Brown on numerous occasions, the FSA today took a battering from the Scottish affairs committee with serving MPs queueing up to criticise the whole affa...Read More
HSBC chief executive set to move on
Michael Geoghegan, the chief executive of HSBC, announced plans to leave the company in December amid reports of a boardroom bust-up. It would appear that Stephen Green's decision to relinquish his role as HSBC chairman has caused something of a major upset in the boardroom. If the rumours are correct, Michael Geoghegan threatened to resign if he was not considered for the role of chairman althoug...Read More