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Lloyds bank under pressure from EU Competition Commissioner

In line with the Royal Bank of Scotland situation, Lloyds bank is set to receive a notice from the EU Competition Commissioner with regards to state aid and the necessity to sell off part of the company's operations. As with Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds bank looks likely to be forced to sell off around one sixth of its market share in the UK which will result in significant branch closures or branch sales.

Initial indications from the market that the company would need to dispose of assets the size of the Halifax operation appear to be well wide of the mark, but there is no doubt that Lloyds bank will be reduced in size over the coming months. This is the hedge off for receiving UK state aid at a time when HBOS, the company which Lloyds bank took over, was literally on the verge of bankruptcy. This particular acquisition has been a disaster for Lloyds bank and Lloyds bank shareholders, many of whom are taking legal action against the UK government.

It will be interesting to see how the UK government respond to this rumoured request from the EU Competition Commissioner because it is slightly embarrassing and could potentially cost the business hundreds of millions of pounds.

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