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.
Bank charges row goes to court
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and a group of big-name banks will tomorrow commence High Court proceedings to decide the legality of unauthorised overdraft charges.The OFT has said that it believes the charges to be unfair and is seeking to prove it in court, in a test case that could open a can of worms for the banks if the ruling goes against them.In the interim of the case, the Financial Serv...Read More
Government refutes bank nationalisation rumours
The UK government has come out today and refuted allegations that plans are already afoot to nationalise vast areas of the UK financial system. The likes of Barclays bank and Lloyds TSB have been mentioned by many experts as potential candidates for nationalisation in return for a taxpayer funded rescue package. Aside from the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is already 70% owned by the UK government...Read More
Royal Bank of Scotland issues customer charter
In a bid to try and regain the trust of the UK public Royal Bank of Scotland has today issued a 14 point customer charter. While the charter contains a number of relevant and interesting points it is the promise that where Royal Bank of Scotland is the "last bank in town" it will ensure that the operation remains open thereby ensuring banking facilities for people in the area. Amongst the other...Read More
Virgin Money announces acquisition of Church House Trust
Despite intense speculation that Virgin Money had already agreed a deal with the UK government for the acquisition of Northern Rock, the company has today surprised the markets with the purchase of Church House Trust, a small regional bank, for an initial outlay of £12.3 million. While this is obviously tiny compared to the likes of Northern Rock and other UK banking institutions, it does secure...Read More
JC Flowers attacks UK mutual sector
JC Flowers, the massive US private equity company, has set aside EUR1 billion to attack the UK mutual sector after agreeing a deal with Kent Reliance which will see the company inject around £50 million into the UK mutual society. It has also been revealed that JC Flowers is in talks regarding a potential EUR450 million investment in Spain's Banca Civica which is run in the same manner as UK mutu...Read More