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EU approves changes at Lloyds bank

The European Union Commission has today approved the UK government state aid invested into Lloyds bank which will be rubberstamped in exchange for an agreement that 600 Lloyds branches will be sold off. This now leaves the way open for the £21.5 billion refinancing which Lloyds bank announced some days ago and which had been subject to speculation regarding potential EU approval. So what next?

In simple terms the EU commission has ruled that bank branch selloffs from Northern Rock, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds bank will allow a new entrant into the UK market to shake up what has been for many years a "closed shop". When you bear in mind that the UK government, and the EU Commission, are looking to bar UK banks from acquiring these assets for sale then it looks as though we will see more entrants emerging from overseas. Who this will be and when they will enter the UK market remains to be seen but the clock is now ticking.

In many ways, when you consider that Royal Bank of Scotland has been ordered to sell off more divisions as well as some branches, Lloyds bank has escaped relatively unscathed from the EU commission.

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