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Leeds and Mercantile Building Societies announce merger


Leeds and Mercantile Building Societies announce a merger expected to take place on August 1 2006.

The deal is subject to approval by the Mercantile members and confirmation
by the FSA.

The combined Society, to be named Leeds Building Society, will have
assets of almost 7bn, with 6.7bn from Leeds Building Society and 0.24bn
from Mercantile Building Society.

It will have around 635,000 members, 69 branches throughout the UK and around 1,000 employees.

Mercantile members will be invited to vote on the proposal at the Society’s AGM at the end of April. The FSA has consented to Leeds Building Society proceeding by Board
resolution.

Under the proposed merger Leads chief executive Ian Ward will become chief executive of the combined society. Mercantile chief executive Gordon
Robinson will become director for the North-East and will assist with the development of the business and the integration of the two societies, until his retirement date in August 2007.

Mercantile chief executive Gordon Robinson says: “Taking into account this maturing marketplace, with its regulatory requirements, demands for ever more sophisticated IT and greater competition, we decided that the long-term interests of our members would be best served by seeking a partner who can bring the benefits of greater size but still retain for our members all the advantages and privileges of
mutuality.”

Leeds chief executive Ian Ward says: “The enlarged society will give us the opportunity to build further on our growth capabilities whilst maintaining the competitive advantages of cost efficiency, a strong capital base and good asset quality.”

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