Virgin/BBVA/Santander Bid on 320 Royal Bank of Scotland Branches
Santander look to acquire 320 Royal Bank of Scotland branches in England. The Spanish company already owns Alliance and Leicester and Abbey.
The RBS is currently propped up with emergency funding from the Bank of England and any buyer would have to repay this within 3 weeks of any deal. Virgin are also in the race to buy as are Santander's Spanish rivals BBVA.
A large corporate buyer with existing UK interests such as the Spanish bank would frustrate attempts to inject fresh competition into British banking.
Late last week fears were that RBS could not spark enough interest in the branch sell off, making a good price difficult to obtain, but today's news that Santander, Virgin and Santander's Spanish rival BBVA are all in the market makes the sale look as though it will pay off the money owed to the Bank of England.
Hopes of a new bidder entering the auction for Royal Bank of Scotland's network of 318 small business branches are fading after it emerged a successful suitor will need £2bn to support the business.