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.
Lloyds TSB confirms it will retain the Bank of Scotland and Halifax brands
As the potential merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS continues to draw ever nearer the bank has today suggested that Lloyds TSB, Bank of Scotland and Halifax will remain as separate brand names throughout the group. There had been some concern that the Lloyds TSB name will be pushed to the fore at the expense of Halifax and Bank of Scotland but this does not appear to be the case.
More Errors at two of UK’s Largest Banks
Customers of two of the largest banks in the UK, NatWest and Nationwide, have experienced fresh problems with their bank accounts just weeks after major complications hit NatWest, Ulster bank and RBS. The problem at NatWest is centred around their online banking system, while some debit card payments have also been effected. Meanwhile, 704,426 Nationwide customers faced a different issue, when...Read More
Consumers losing £200 per year in interest
Millions of Britons are failing to capitalise on the chance to maximise their savings by choosing current accounts which do not offer them market-leading rates, it has been claimed. Price comparison site moneysupermarket.com asked a sample of over 4,000 consumers to identify the current accounts with the best rates of interest. It was found that 73 per cent failed to name Alliance & Leicester, Abb...Read More
Should there be a commercial bank owned by the government in the longer term?
As the UK government continues to hold significant stakes in the likes of Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland there is a growing debate as to whether the UK authorities should operate a majority controlled bank in the UK commercial sector. The ability to potentially lead from the front has attracted the attention of many MPs and regulators although there are a number of issues such as conflicts...Read More
Has the Dunfermline Building Society been sold short?
Despite revelations that the Dunfermline Building Society is about to report a £20 million plus loss for the current year there would appear to be severe anger within the company's halls of power. While there is no doubt, if the financial information in the public domain is correct, that the building society has come under severe financial pressure of late, there are concerns about the actions of...Read More