Starting gun fired on IPO

Clydesdale heading for £2 billion stock market flotation

Clydesdale BankClydesdale Bank is to be floated on the stock market, giving Scotland a new independent bank.

A flotation is likely to value Clydesdale and its sister bank Yorkshire at about £2 billion.

Parent company National Australia Bank made the announcement tonight as it published half year figures for Clydesdale showing an improvement in performance.

The Australian lender has appointed Morgan Stanley, the investment bank, to oversee the initial public offering (IPO).

Debbie Crosbie, acting chief executive, said: “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of an exciting new opportunity for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks. Our performance is improving and we’re providing real customer choice in the UK which is driving encouraging growth across our target retail and SME markets.

“We believe the foundations of a strong standalone future have been laid in the progress made restructuring and refocusing our business and this is clear in our half year results.”

Pre-tax cash earnings are up a third to £118 million, charges to provide for bad and doubtful debts more than halved and mortgage lending is up £2.4 billion.

“There’s more work to be done as we move the business forward and build a better bank for our customers. Oversight and governance of historical PPI complaints have been completely overhauled and comprehensive programmes are underway to put this right to ensure we are doing the right thing by our customers.

“The strong start we’ve made since the beginning of 2015 means we’re well placed to build on our organic growth plans. In particular, we’ve seen encouraging growth in current account switchers supported by a market leading offer.

“Our ISA rates have headed the field, we’ve offered a market leading credit card and we continue to punch above our weight in the mortgage market. Support for customers will continue to be at the heart of our business. More efficient distribution channels, significant investment in technology, digital banking, brand awareness and innovative products will ensure this positive momentum continues.”

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