Standard Life has moved a step closer to making a bid for "zombie" fund insurer Resolution with the appointment of Merrill Lynch as adviser, The Daily Telegraph reports.
A source close to Standard Life said the negative investor reaction to Friends Provident's proposed nil-premium merger with Resolution had put both companies into play. The Edinburgh-based insurer is thought to have retained its long-time adviser Merrill Lynch and is considering all options regarding Resolution if the Friends merger fails.
If Standard makes an approach for Resolution, it will be the fourth time the companies have discussed a tie-up in the last year. The first was prior to Standard Life's float last year when Resolution founder Clive Cowdery approached the insurer with an offer and was rejected.
BARCLAYS HAS FORMALLY launched its €65bn (£43.95bn) takeover offer for ABN Amro, in an attempt to pull off the world's biggest banking takeover, according to The Guardian.
The move comes as ABN granted the rival Royal Bank of Scotland-led consortium access to some of the Dutch bank's senior executives and agreed to maintain a "level playing field" in future talks.
RBS chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin suggested last week that he did not believe his group was on a "level playing field" with Barclays. RBS has accepted assurances from ABN that its chief executive Rijkman Groenink was misquoted when he gave advice to Fortis shareholders on how to vote on the deal today.
BANKS, BUILDING SOCIETIES and National Savings & Investments (NS&I) should be forced to hand over the money in dormant accounts to good causes, according to MPs, The Times reports.
The Government intends to launch a scheme to use the estimated £500m in forgotten accounts to boost charitable causes next year. Banks and building societies will be able to choose whether to take part.
In a report to be published today, the Commons Treasury Select Committee said that banks and building societies should be compelled to hand over the cash. It also disputed the Government’s decision that an estimated £990m in dormant accounts and unclaimed Premium Bond prizes held by NS&I, the Government-backed savings institution, should be excluded.
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