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NBNK set to make second bid for Lloyds branches

NBNK is set to launch a second bid for Lloyds Banking Group’s 632 branches following doubts over the Co-operative Group’s successful bid for them.

Lord Levene’s NBNK is expected to make a new bid of around £1.5bn for Lloyd’s Project Verde business this week.

NBNK originally lost out to Co-op in the race to buy the branches but the deal between Co-op and Lloyds has become complicated with Lloyds announcing last week that Co-Op had missed the original deadline to agree the final terms of the deal.

In a statement to the market last Thursday, Lloyds said it was hoping to update shareholders on the progress of talks some time in the second quarter.

The Co-op deal has been hit by delays due to FSA concerns about the ability of Co-op to manage the business. According to the Telegraph, the regulator is pushing the firm to revamp its board and appoint managers capable of running large and complex financial services businesses.

In December, credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s cut its outlook on Co-op due to the risks associated with the Lloyds deal.

Lloyds has also touted floating the branches as a business option.

NBNK was set up in 2010 to acquire British banking assets.

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