Abbey National offloads French business

Abbey National today confirmed it was in advanced talks to sell a business that provides mortgages to Britons looking to set up home in France.

Abbey National today confirmed it was in advanced talks to sell a business that provides mortgages to Britons looking to set up home in France.

The group – currently the subject of a takeover offer from Spanish bank Santander Central Hispano – is discussing the potential sale of Abbey National France with financial services group BNP Paribas.

The Abbey operation, which has around 26,000 customers and assets worth €2.1bn (£1.39bn), draws around a quarter of its business from Britons looking to purchase residential properties in France.

However, Abbey has been looking to sell the subsidiary as part of its drive to create a company solely focused on UK personal financial services.

It has already offloaded a range of global businesses, including an unsecured lending subsidiary in France in December, as part of a turnaround strategy unveiled by chief executive Luqman Arnold 18 months ago.

Abbey said it hoped to complete the sale of Abbey National France in October, although it added a deal still required regulatory and other approvals.

The business was established in 1990 and now boasts nine sales offices in locations including Marseille, Montpellier, Toulouse and Bordeaux, and 219 staff.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up