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Santander to shelve UK flotation until 2013

Santander is likely to delay the planned listing of its UK operations on the London Stock Exchange until at least 2013, according to reports.

The Financial Times reports today that following the publication of the Independent Commission on Banking’s final recommendations earlier this week Santander’s plans to float 20 per cent of Santander UK have been shelved until 2013 at the earliest.

Santander had hoped to float its UK division, made up of the acquisitions of Abbey, Alliance & Leicester, and Bradford & Bingley, for about £3bn in the second half of this year.

The plans had already been pushed back until next year following recent market volatility.

The ICB, led by Sir John Vickers, called earlier this week for UK banks to ringfence their retail operations from their investment activities, and each subsidiary to hold capital in excess of Basel III requirements by 2019.

Analysts have suggested that about five to 10 per cent of Santander’s UK’s activities would fall outside the retail ringfence, making a market listing more difficult.

The FT reports that Santander UK is looking to convince ministers and regulators to allow it to include instruments such as those used to manage its balance sheet and hedge exposures to foreign exchange and interest rates in the ringfence as long as they did not exceed a certain proportion of total operations.

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