National Australia Bank (NAB) may be planning to bid for 600 high street bank branches that Lloyds
Banking Group is being forced to sell as a consequence of receiving state funding at the height of the
international financial crisis.
According to the Sunday Times newspaper, Lynne Peacock – chief executive of NAB’s operations in
the United Kingdom – is understood to have made the acquisition bid a top priority. If the move is
successful, it would double the number of bank branches it owns in Britain.
NAB’s UK businesses include Scottish bank Clydesdale, which currently has 150 branches, and
Yorkshire Bank which has 180 branches. It also holds a number of high street ‘Financial Solutions
Centres’ under both brands.
Under instruction from the European Commission, Lloyds Banking Group has until the end of 2013 to
split up a number of its key operations. As well as the sale of branches, it has to offload 19 per cent
of its current total mortgage book, and current accounts equivalent to a 4.6 per cent share of the UK
market. The TSB brand and former HBOS subsidiary Intelligent Finance will also have to be sold.
The total assets that must be capitulated by Lloyds are estimated at a total value of more than £3
billion – and would on their own create the seventh largest bank in the UK.