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Santander delays possible float of UK division

Despite the fact that hundreds of corporate bankers in the UK had already begun to lick their lips at the prospect of a potential float of Santander's UK division, these hopes have been dashed with news that the division will not be sold before spring 2011 at the earliest. The company has today confirmed that an immediate flotation of the UK division, taking in Abbey, Alliance and Leicester and Bradford and Bingley, is unlikely in the short term.

It is believed that the division has been valued at around £3 billion which would mean a potential £600 million windfall for Santander if a 20% stake in the business was sold to investors. It would appear that the financial position of Santander, one of the stronger banks in Europe, may well be even stronger than many had assumed because the idea had been that the £600 million would be used to shore up the balance sheet.

Those who are familiar with Santander will be well aware that the company has rebranded a number of its UK divisions under the "Santander" name hoping to take advantage of customer disdain with traditional UK banking names. There is no doubt that the company has developed in the UK and is now a major force.

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