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Nationwide declares interest in snapping up 316 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland

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Nationwide publicly declared its interest in snapping up 316 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland as it was hit with a £238m bill for past follies. Britain’s biggest building society said the acquisition would help meet its target of gobbling up 10 per cent of the current account market. It added that ownership of the branches would also ‘fit logically’ with its plans to start lending to small and medium-sized businesses by 2014. RBS was forced to sell the branches as a condition of receiving a £45bn bail out.

 

But a £1.65bn deal struck with Santander two years ago fell through last month after the Spanish-owned bank complained about RBS’s IT systems. Although several private equity firms and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Money have expressed interest, there are fears it could be sold off for a bargain basement price.

 

Chris Rhodes, executive director of products and marketing at Nationwide said: ‘We will watch this very closely but this is a very complex transaction that one buyer has already walked away from them.’ But as it revealed its hand, the Swindon-based firm admitted it had been forced to put aside £193m to cover losses on commercial property loans in the first half of the year – up from £72m a year earlier.

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-2239247/Nationwide-eyes-316-RBS-branches.html#ixzz2DXZrMwum


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