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Private equity giant applies for British banking licence

It has been revealed that US private equity giant Blackstone has applied for a UK banking licence and could become the latest in a long line of companies looking to take advantage of confusion and disappointment with the traditional UK banking arena. The company is one of the largest buyout operations in the world with experience in many areas of business and contacts aplenty.

The rumour is that the company is looking to work alongside fund manager Cambridge Place to put together a venture called "The Home and Savings Bank" which could be in place as early as the first quarter of 2010. However, there is a potential drawback for the new operation with an FSA banking licence application potentially taking up to 12 months before approval may be granted.

It is interesting to see that at the slightest sign of recovery in the UK economy more and more large businesses are looking towards the UK banking sector as a potentially new area of investment, taking advantage of the disappointment and confusion currently evident in the sector. Only a few days ago we saw Virgin Money making a positive move in the banking sector and now we see Blackstone following suit. Who will be next to join the party?

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