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Yorkshire and Chelsea building societies in merger talks

It is believed, unofficially, that the Yorkshire building society and the Chelsea building society are in talks about a merger which would create a group to compete with the Nationwide building society. The two societies in question currently stand as the second and fifth largest in the UK and their amalgamation would bring together a group with the capital and the strength to take on the Nationwide building society. So will the deal go through?

While it is unclear exactly how far negotiations have progressed, it is believed that they are at least at a point which could prompt some form of confirmation about talks in the short term. This is a reflection of the changing environment in the UK financial sector where the cost of regulation is increasing, competition is increasing and more and more financial companies will be looking to merge or takeover smaller operations.

Even though the building society sector, otherwise known as the mutual sector, was for many years seen as "rock solid", if a somewhat boring sector, it has endured its fair share of ups and downs over the last few months. While specific news about the Yorkshire and Chelsea building societies being in talks was not necessarily expected across the board, it seemed only a matter of time before a new wave of mergers and acquisitions kicked in.

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