A takeover vehicle run by former Northern Rock boss Gary Hoffman today confirmed a bid for 632 branches being sold by Lloyds Banking Group.
NBNK Investments, which was co-founded by Lord Levene, chairman of insurer Lloyd’s of London, has reportedly offered £1.5bn for the estate, which is up for sale in order for Lloyds to meet European competition rules.
Other bids are thought to have come from American investment firm Sun Capital and the Co-operative Banking Group.
NBNK has also been linked to a bid for National Australia Bank’s Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks, a move which would make it more attractive to Lloyds as a bidder because it would have an operational banking platform.
The BBC has said that NBNK is significantly more advanced than rival bidders in respect of raising finance for the takeover, known as Project Verde.
In a statement today, NBNK said: “NBNK was formed for the purpose of making acquisitions in order to establish a significant UK retail bank and confirms that it has submitted a bid for Verde.
“There can be no certainty that a transaction will be completed nor as to the terms of any transaction.”
Lloyds has a deadline of this weekend for second round bids for the estate, which includes £36bn of assets.