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Cowdery puts off consolidation plan after B&B rejection

Clive Cowdery’s Resolution will return to the market in September with plans to buy mortgage assets from investment and retail banks after it failed to secure a big shareholding in Bradford & Bingley.

B&B last week refused to allow Resolution access to its books, saying it was worried Resolution was attempting to seize control of the bank.

This prompted Resolution to abandon its attempt to pump 400m into B&B in exchange for a 49 per cent stake.

B&B shareholders will now vote on July 7 on proposals for a 258m rights issue which includes US private equity firm Texas Pacific Group taking a 23 per cent stake in the bank.

The UK Shareholders Association says B&B’s board has not properly explained its rejection of Cowdery’s proposals and smaller investors, who represent around 35 per cent of shareholders, should consider not supporting the board’s plans.

A Resolution spokesman says: “Cowdery now plans to take some time off and come back in September with a new project. It could be within the smaller bank and lending area but he is also looking at asset management insurance and reinsurance.”

A source close to Resolution says Cowdery is unlikely to focus on acquisitions such as Paragon and Alliance & Leicester but rather the 17bn of mortgage assets owned by investment banks and mortgage books owned by the subsidiaries of retail banks.


Industry takes hit to profitability

Profitability in the UK financial services industry has declined at a record pace and business volumes have fallen at the fastest rate in 17 years, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey.


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