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Resolution and Blackstone join bidding for RBS branches

Consolidation vehicle Resolution, private equity firm Blackstone and National Australia Bank are all understood to be in the bidding for more than 300 branches of Royal Bank of Scotland.

Blackstone is tipped to be interested in backing UK retail banking venture The Home and Savings Bank, chaired by former Kensington chairman and ex-Abbey chief executive Peter Birch.

Clive Cowdery’s Resolution bought Friends Provident last year and is eyeing up other buy-out targets in the financial services industry.

The Financial Times reports that both firms have joined National Australia Bank in the running to acquire RBS and NatWest branches that the bank has been forced to shed as a result of its receipt of state aid.

Virgin has also said it may look to acquire the RBS branches and Santander is rumoured to be interested.

European competition rules have dictated that RBS offload the 300-plus branches over the next four years due to the fact the bank has an 84 per cent Government stake.

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