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.
Silver Saver accounts could fall foul of equality laws
In a bizarre move it has been announced that UK "Silver Saver accounts" which are targeted at the over 50s in the UK, may fall foul of the recent equality Bill. These accounts, many run by UK building societies, often offer a preferential rate or preferential terms to the over 50s in exchange for depositing their funds. At the time when the UK government and the UK banking industry has promised to...Read More
Are we seeing the emergence of a new guard in the UK banking sector?
As many of the old guard continue to be forced out of office by various banking shareholder groups a number of analysts believe that we are on the verge of a new dawn for the UK banking sector. However, with such figures as Sir Victor Blank and Sir Fred Goodwin to name but two now forcefully ejected from their office there is a concern that the vast array of experience and knowledge gathered by th...Read More
Gordon Brown steps into bank overdraft saga
Whether Gordon Brown is just looking to prompt the endgame to what has become a long-running saga or looking to curry favour with UK investors is open to debate, but his statement that UK banks need to negotiate a solution to the overdraft charge court case has been welcomed across the board. This is the first time that Gordon Brown has actually commented on the issue and his suggestion that the i...Read More
Tesco Set To Take On The High Street Banks
In a move which has surprised many in the financial markets, Tesco has acquired the remaining 50% share of its joint venture with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for £950 million. This now gives Tesco full control of the venture and releases the company from an array of competition clauses against RBS. The joint venture has been one of the more successful on the high street having started over a d...Read More
What happens now with the Chelsea and Yorkshire building society merger?
Letters of explanation will be sent to Yorkshire and Chelsea building society members within the next 10 days explaining exactly what is on the table and what their voting options are. At least 75% of savers and 50% of borrowers must vote in favour of the deal for it to go ahead, at which point the transaction would be put to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for clearance. The merged oper...Read More