Takeover firm 'set to buy UK banks'

A takeover vehicle run by former Northern Rock boss Gary Hoffman suspended its shares today in a further sign that it is moving in on a deal which could see it form one of the UK’s largest high street lenders.

A takeover vehicle run by former Northern Rock boss Gary Hoffman suspended its shares today in a further sign that it is moving in on a deal which could see it form one of the UK’s largest high street lenders.

NBNK Investments, which was co-founded by Lord Levene, chairman of insurer Lloyd’s of London, is reportedly looking to buy the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks ahead of a bid for 632 branches being sold by Lloyds Banking Group.

NBNK, which is in talks with the lenders’ owner National Australia Bank, would create a new bank with 971 branches and in excess of £40bn in deposits if it is successful.

Lloyds is in the process of assessing bidders for its branches, which it must sell as part of a European Commission-enforced deal, ahead of a September 30 deadline for second-round bids.

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