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Darling scuppers HBOS rival bid claims

Chancellor Alistair Darling has shot down the dissenting Scottish bankers’ claims for a rival HBOS bid.

Sir Peter Burt and Sir George Matthewson, former heads of Bank of Scotland and RBS, have been attempting to scupper the Lloyds TSB merger for the last two weeks, claiming Government intervention alone could keep HBOS independent.

And this week the pair used a statement to HBOS shareholders as proof that their plans could prevail.

The bankers said earlier this week: “[Lord Stevenson’s] circular makes the case for us powerfully. It states that HBOS needs £12bn to survive as an independent bank. This figure is only 6 per cent above the money the Government has already committed to the merger.

“The Chancellor confirmed any eligible bank was entitled to apply for recapitalisation and has subsequently said that this is still the case.”

But Darling today released a written statement to lawmakers concerning the bank recapitalisation scheme, scuppering any of the bankers’ previous assumptions.

Darling says: “There is no automatic right of access to the recapitalisation scheme. At a minimum HM Treasury would expect a plan to meet an appropriate level of capitalisation and a sustainable business model and delivery plan.

“The institution’s funding profile, sources and mix must be clear, broad-based and sustainable; and the senior management team must be credible, with demonstrable ability to deliver the business plan.”

As yet the dissenters have yet to put together a plan to detail how they, as chief executive and chairman, would save the ailing bank.

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