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Virgin cools interest in 630 Lloyds branches

Virgin Money is set to cool its interest in the 630 Lloyds Banking Group branches for sale and will instead focus its intention on Northern Rock.

Virgin chief Sir Richard Branson had seen the LBG branches as a way of gaining a way to gain a significant foothold in the UK retail banking sector.

But, according to the Financial Times, Branson has been put off due to stringent capital requirements, high funding costs and an unfavourable mix of assets on offer. The report states Branson has not made a formal bid for the branches and is now focussed on acquiring state-backed bank Northern Rock.

Reports state Lloyds is in talks with six interested parties, including NBNK, the Co-operative Group, Virgin, National Australia Bank and Resolution founder Clive Cowdery. However, it is thought only NBNK and the Co-op have made formal bids.

LBG is being forced to sell the branches by the European Commission as part of the agreement surrounding its bail-out.

First round bids for Northern Rock are due this week.


First State’s Asante calls for IMA emerging markets change

First State’s Jonathan Asante is lobbying for more freedom when it comes to investing in emerging markets. Guidelines set by the IMA require emerging market managers to invest at least 80 per cent of their portfolio in companies listed in emerging markets. Asante, the head of emerging markets and manager of the £1.8 billion First […]


SJP: We have no plans to join Aifa

St James’s Place says it has no plans to join Aifa following the trade body’s decision to open up its membership to restricted advisers. Speaking to Money Marketing following the firm’s results for the first half of 2011, chief executive David Bellamy welcomed Aifa’s move but said he had no intention of joining up. He […]


Mortgage firm default adds £7.3m to FSCS levy

The default of mortgage firm Southsea Mortgage and Investment Company has added £7.3m to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme’s annual levy. In April, the FSCS announced an annual levy of £217m for 2011/12. However, since the announcement, Southsea Mortgage and Investment Company has been put into liquidation. The FSCS says it compensated the majority of […]


Cable: Ring-fencing must be as effective as full bank seperation

Business secretary Vince Cable has called on the Independent Commission on Banking to demonstrate that ring-fencing retail banking activities would be as effective as the full separation of retail and investment divisions. The ICB’s interim report, published in April, recommended banks ring-fence their retail banking arms. The commission, led by Sir John Vickers, is due […]

Natixis video: Making smarter use of asset classes

Content supplied by Natixis Global Asset Management This video from Natixis Global Asset Management focuses on Active Share. One strategy for the smarter use of equity investments is ensuring you get what you pay for. According to the company, looking at Active Share can give you a better perspective on where performance comes from. Active […]


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