Santander set to grab 318 Royal Bank of Scotland branches
The inside word appears to suggest that Santander, the Spanish banking giant, is on the verge of acquiring 318 Royal Bank of Scotland branches put up for sale by the company. Despite earlier rumours that the company had bid of around £1.8 billion it seems that the final asking price will be around £1.65 billion with Santander the only bidder left at the table. However, it looks as though the deal may well take up to 18 months to complete!
Under strict UK and European banking regulations it is likely to take up to 18 months for the acquisition to be finalised and the transfer of the branches completed. This does seem rather bizarre when you consider that the European Union forced Royal Bank of Scotland to put these branches of the sale due to the fact the company had received significant state aid from the UK authorities. It will be interesting to see any comments from the competition authorities but ultimately with Santander the only bidder at the table the deal should effectively flow-through.
The sale of the branches will mean a massive difference to the future makeup of Royal Bank of Scotland which has paid a price for significant risks taken in the past. The Royal Bank of Scotland we see today will be very different to the Royal Bank of Scotland we will see in 18 months time.
OFT announces in-depth study of banking sector
After a brief review of banking practices raised concerns, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced that it will now undertake more thorough research into bank pricing.The initial study was carried out after consumer concerns as to the fairness of bank charges, which, having reviewed the matter, the OFT now shares. However, it acknowledges that a more detailed examination is necessary. John...Read More
Who would benefit from a shakeup of the UK banking industry?
The Independent Commission on Banking is looking at ways to reduce the risk from banking to the overall UK economy and also to improve services. However, if the Independent Commission on Banking does take the controversial decision to split up investment banking and retail banking operations who would benefit? It is difficult to see how the consumer on the streets and businesses in the UK wou...Read More
Self-regulation comes to an end for the UK banking sector
In what is seen by many as a serious threat to the self regulatory framework of the UK financial sector, the government has today introduced a bill to Parliament which will see banks fined and potentially have their assets frozen if they mistreat their customers. Quite what is meant by "mistreating their customers" remains to be seen but the UK government has certainly taken on more of a hardball...Read More
RBS to close 44 branches
The Royal bank of Scotland is set to close 44 UK branches, with 14 of those being classed as the “last banks in town.” The closures have been announced despite the bank making a pledge in 2010 not to close its branches.
However, an RBS spokeswoman stated “the world has changed since then,” citing a 30% fall in branch transactions since the pledge was originally made.
Barclays Bank feels the Lehman Brothers backlash
While initial rumours of a Barclays Bank led bailout of US giant Lehman Brothers did not hold much sway with traders, the mood suddenly turned a little sour when it was confirmed that the group was in talks with the US giant about a takeover. While the deal was scuppered when the US authorities refused to offer any financial guarantees in the event of more shocks with the balance sheet many trade...Read More