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Credit Agricole looking at takeover bid for A&L

French bank Credit Agricole has confirmed it is considering a takeover bid for Alliance & Leicester.

The move has been welcomed by brokers, who believe A&L needs investment so it can challenge HBOS at the top of the mortgage market.

CA says it is at the early stages of evaluating a possible takeover. Abbey owner Banco Santander was mooted as a possible suitor for A&L.

CA says: “We are assessing A&L, among others. Credit Agricole has not made any proposal to A&L and there is no certainty that an offer will be made.”

A&L spokesman Stuart Dawkins is refusing to comment on whether it is prepared to sell. He says: “We are aware of the announcement and we are focusing on delivering our strategy.”

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