NBNK hopeful of Lloyds progress
NBNK, which was set up with the intention of creating a new player in the retail banking market, said its own talks with Lloyds and the Financial Services Authority had made progress.
NBNK's proposal taps into the bank's "plan-B" option for a flotation. By underwriting any demerger it will give shareholders in Lloyds the choice between taking a new share in the branch business or accepting cash.
The company, which is headed by former Northern Rock boss Gary Hoffman, hopes to create a new nationwide entrant into high street banking which is able to compete with the incumbent providers.
It said in its annual report today: "NBNK can create what everyone wants: a safe, secure and successful UK-focused consumer and small business bank."
The Lloyds branches, known as Project Verde, are being sold as one of the conditions imposed by the European competition regulator on the taxpayer-backed bailout of the bank.
Mr Hoffman added: "Having continued to engage constructively with Lloyds, I believe we have provided sufficient information to enable negotiations to progress for the sale of Verde to NBNK."
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