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NBNK targets Middle East backing for Lloyds bid

NBNK is looking to get backing from a number of sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East as it continues with its bid to acquire 632 Lloyds Banking Group branches.

According to The Telegraph, Lloyds is understood to have concerns about the regulatory and financial footing at NBNK and has asked the bank’s chairman Lord Levene to provide detailed information on the bank’s capital strength as well as its ability to pass a number of regulatory hurdles.

NBNK is back in the race for the Project Verde business after concerns were raised about rival bidder the Co-operative’s own economic and regulatory position. Lloyds ended four months of exclusivity talks with Co-op last week citing these hurdles in the way of a potential sale.

The report says NBNK has re-assured Lloyds chairman Anotnio Horta-Osorio it is on track to achieve full banking status and a number of investors are ready to lend money to the bank.

Lord Levene and chief executive Gary Hoffman are understood to have looked at a number of sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and have received favourable responses from Qatar and Abeu Dhabi.

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