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.
Islamic banking struggling in the UK
Launched in a blaze of glory just a few years ago, Islamic banking in the UK is struggling to survive at this moment in time with the likes of Lloyds bank, the initial main stream provider of Islamic banking in the UK, withdrawing a number of Shariah-based mortgages over the last few months. It seems that a lack of competition and a lack of demand within the UK have impacted short-term growth pros...Read More
Bank of England staff member suspended in rigging probe
05/03/2014 Following an investigation, a staff member has been suspended by the Bank of England for potentially rigging the foreign currency exchange market. Traders are alleged to have been involved in setting key exchange rates in the £3bn-a-day foreign exchange market. In a statement the bank said It does not condone market-rigging "whatsoever", but declined to comment further as to w...Read More
Mobile phone payments enjoy successful London trial
Londoners could soon be able to make payments with a swipe of their mobile phone, following the success of a trial from Nokia and network providers O2.The Finnish mobile phone firm provided 500 city residents with a handset adapted with both Barclaycard and Oyster card technology.Contactless payments were then made through the devices for tube trips and small purchases from retailers including Yo!...Read More
Massive mutual merger confirmed for August
The merger between Britannia Building Society and the Co-operative is set to be completed on 1 August after members from both parties voted in favour of the deal. This will see a combined group boasting 9 million customers, 12,000 employees and over £70 billion of assets. The new operation will also have a branch network of over 300 and has the potential to attack and damage more traditional UK b...Read More
British Gas looks to direct debits
British Gas has announced plans to substantially increase the number of its customers paying their bills by direct debit.The energy supplier is looking to take advantage of the one-day postal strike by Royal Mail staff by highlighting the benefits of paying by direct debit rather than having to rely on the post.British Gas is intending to see a ninefold increase in the number of its customers who...Read More