Lehman Brothers is actively searching for a white knight to buy the bank with the help of the US government after investors rejected chairman Dick Fuld's plan to split Lehman in two, sending its shares down as much as 42%, The Telegraph reports.
Bank of America (BoA), the sprawling retail banking conglomerate which has already rescued mortgage bank Countrywide, was last night seen as the most likely buyer of Lehman as the chances of the bank retaining its 158-year independence dwindled.
The Daily Telegraph understands that initial conversations between the two banks - led by Mr Fuld and BoA chairman Ken Lewis - began yesterday afternoon in New York, under the watchful eye of Tim Geithner, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
THE NATIONWIDE IS planning to close five mortgage processing centres with the potential loss of just over 100 jobs as part of an efficiency drive by Britain's biggest building society, according to The Independent.
The society told staff yesterday of the intended closures yesterday at Belfast, Sevenoaks, Southampton, Rayleigh and Swansea, and entered a 30-day consultation period with its in-house union.
Nationwide said that if the closures went ahead it would try to place the staff affected in other jobs within the group. A spokeswoman said it was too early to say whether all the staff could be relocated.
BANCO SANTANDER SAID yesterday it was interested in making a full bid for Deutsche Postbank, Germany’s largest retail bank with more than 14m customers, as it made a last-ditch attempt to stymie a rival proposal from Deutsche Bank, The Times reports.
The Spanish bank, which owns Abbey in the UK and is in the process of acquiring Alliance & Leicester, made the announcement amid growing speculation that Deutsche Bank was the preferred bidder.
Santander revealed its interest in buying Postbank only after the Spanish banking regulator asked it to respond to German media reports, a source close to the deal said yesterday.
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