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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.

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