Spanish bank quits talks

Santander ‘pulls out’ of deal to buy RBS branches

RBS hqSpanish bank Santander has pulled out of talks to buy Royal Bank of Scotland’s Williams & Glyn business, according to sources in the City.

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group is now said to be considering a bid for the 300-branches.

Neither Santander nor RBS has commented on the report which leaked after the London Stock Exchange closed for business.

If confirmed it will be the second time that Santander has walked away from negotiations to buy the business.

RBS is under orders from the European Commission to parcel up and sell the branches – almost entirely NatWest branches – as a condition for receiving state aid in 2008.

RBS planned to carve out a new bank with two million customers and £24 billion of assets. It intended to revive the Williams & Glyn brand for the new bank.

W&G would rank as the UK’s seventh largest bank with a 2% share of the personal current account market and 5% of SMEs, amounting to 113,000 commercial customers.

Santander pulled out of talks in 2012 over IT issues and RBS planned to float the business by the end of next year.

However, it admitted earlier this year that it had hit problems and that a trade sale would be a better option.

> Why it is time for the EU to lift this order

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