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.
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
Lloyds Bank raises £800 million in share placing
In a move which smacks of opportunism it has been revealed that Lloyds Bank has placed around 284 million new shares with institutional investors raising an impressive £800 million in just 3 hours. However, the group has been stung by suggestions that the sudden bounce in banking shares last week has given the group a very small window in which to raise the funds with the long term scenario in t...Read More
Alistair Darling asks investment banks to plan for doomsday scenario
In a bizarre exercise it is believed Alistair Darling has requested that all UK investment companies should be made to plan for their future demise. This is on the back of the Lehman Bros collapse which caused significant problems in a number of investment markets with over 1.5 million positions left open. The idea is that UK banks will be asked to draw up plans in the event of their demise which...Read More
Complaint over Lloyds TSB cash exchange charge
A Merseyside teacher has criticised Lloyds TSB for what he sees as its excessive handling fees.Arthur Williams used a branch of the bank in West Kirby, in order to convert two £20 notes and a £10 into a new £50.This note was then to be used as a Christmas gift for his 15-year-old niece.However, the bank informed him that there would be a handling fee of £5 for the conversion - which the teache...Read More
Lloyds Bank exits Ireland
Lloyds Bank has today confirmed that its banking licence which enables the company to operate in Ireland will be handed back to the authorities. The company is no longer taking on new business in Ireland as the operation has been a disaster over the last few years. The company has lost billions of pounds in Ireland and has finally decided to call it a day. The assets of the operation in question a...Read More