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Ex-Abbey chief aims to set up new bank

Former Kensington chairman and ex-Abbey chief executive Peter Birch is understood to be seeking private equity backing from Blackstone to launch a new bank.

Ex-Pink Home Loans chief executive officer Barry Meeks, former Tesco Personal Finance chief and Royal Bank of Scotland director Stuart Sinclair, and Kensington founder and ex-Trigold chief Martin Finegold are also involved in the venture which will be called The Home and Savings Bank.

The firm, which is expected to target the mortgages and savings market, has report- edly applied for a banking licence with the FSA and is awaiting approval.

Birch was chief executive of Abbey for 15 years and was also part of the team put forward by JC Flowers in its failed bid for Northern Rock.
Sky News reports that the new venture has already raised £250m from investors.

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