Speaking to the BBC’s today programme, Pittman said he is confident that the combined bank would be a success.
Pittman said: “I think the deal will go through, it is important it goes through, it must go through.”
Pittman predicted that the actions of the financial sector over the last few weeks will lead to more solid, safe banking.
He said: “This is just a process of cleaning out the stable. After all of this we will end up with five or six strong UK banks. It will be a return to sound banking with vigorous competition between the banks, slugging it out together.”
Pittman criticised the Government’s actions over Northern Rock, saying its continuing new lending “distorts the market”. He said the Bradford & Bingley rescue was better run as it was in effect a commercial solution.
He says: “In the case of B&B, Santander took over the deposits and the debts will ultimately be paid by the banks. So this, in effect, was a private sector solution.
“Some banks have not been well run, they were chasing market share with 100 per cent mortgages. People will come to you if you offer these but it will come back to bite you. Too many chairmen and chief executives didn’t understand the business.”