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Co-op: We are the only credible Lloyds’ bidder

Co-operative Financial Services chairman Paul Flowers claims the mutual is the only “credible” bidder for the Lloyds bank branches.

The European Commission is forcing Lloyds to sell 632 branhes and 5 per cent of the banking market by November 31, 2013 as part of its state aid agreement.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Liberal Democrat conference in Birmingham this week, Flowers said: “I would suggest we are the only credible bidder because we are the only bidder which already has a substantial branch network. All the other bidders are pie in the sky.”

Lloyds will not confirm who has submitted bids but it is thought American investment firm Sun Capital and NBNK, a shell vehicle set up by former Lloyd’s of London chairman Lord Levene, have done so. NBNK is looking to acquire National Australia Bank brands Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks as a platform to bid for the Lloyds branches.

Flowers said: “They may be interesting people in the City or have seats in the House of Lords but that is all they are. We believe we need to create, and that the market needs, a credible sustainable mutual provider in banking which has the scale this sort of bid might achieve.”

NBNK was unavailable for comment.



IFP attacks FSA’s ‘outrageous sweeping statements’ on simplified advice

The Institute of Financial Planning has hit out at the regulator’s “outrageous sweeping statements” about who should access simplified advice and questioned whether the regime will be profitable for firms. In its simplified advice guidance consultation, published last week, the FSA says firms should not recommend retail investment products through simplified advice if a client […]


Hornbuckle sees perfect storm for drawdown

Falling gilt yields are squeezing the income of thousands of retirees who are taking income directly from their pension funds, says Hornbuckle Mitchell. The 15-year gilt index yield used to calculate the maximum that can be taken under capped drawdown has plummeted and was at 2.98 per cent last Friday. This will be rounded down […]


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