Santander UK has placed a formal bid for the branches of Williams & Glyn being sold off by Royal Bank of Scotland.
The UK arm of the Spanish bank has put in a formal offer for the 300 branches that RBS has been attempting to separate from the bank for six years, Sky News reports.
It is thought an offer could be agreed as early as this week.
A statement from Santander says: “Whilst our focus is organic growth, we will continue to analyse opportunities in our core 10 markets where they add value and benefit to our customers and shareholders. That said, we do not comment on rumours or market speculation.”
RBS must sell out of its stake in Williams & Glyn by the end of next year to meet European Commission criteria for the £45bn bailout it received in the financial crisis.
Santander had previously agreed a deal with RBS to buy the business, which was then abandoned in 2012 amid IT issues.