Royal Bank of Scotland will today learn which of seven suitors are throwing their hats into the ring for its insurance business, potentially sparking a £7.5bn bidding war, as the group looks to offload the asset by the end of the summer, The Independent reports.
This comes as rival banking group Barclays announced it was considering selling its life assurance business, after saying it was not a core operation. Today is the deadline for interested parties to lodge indicative proposals for RBS's insurance business, which has been valued at between £6bn and £7.5bn.
With bidders pushing the deadline to the limit, RBS had not received any proposals yesterday. One source close to the group said: "We were told not to expect anything until Wednesday." RBS declined to comment on the timing and identity of potential bidders yesterday.
THE TREASURY IS struggling to find an independent valuer to calculate how much Northern Rock's former shareholders should be paid in compensation, and is now considering advertising for the post, according to The Telegraph.
More than three months have passed since the Treasury revealed plans to pass the sensitive issue of compensation to an "independent valuer". The arrangements were enshrined in law less than a month later, on March 12, but the "competitive process" of finding a valuer has yet to begin.
Industry insiders say it has been delayed because the obvious candidates are reluctant to apply for the role, widely considered a "poisoned chalice". "Everyone's ducking for cover," one banker said.
FALLING CONSUMER CONFIDENCE in America allied to the continued drop in house prices is pointing to the lowest level of spending since the 1950s, official data showed yesterday, The Times reports.
According to the Conference Board's consumer confidence index, the outlook of Americans last month was the most gloomy since October 1992, with expectations for the future declining even further.
Economists said that, if their expectations are borne out, consumption would fall by 2.5% - the worst decline since 1959. Consumer demand accounts for two thirds of US economic growth.
At the same time, new data showed that house prices are falling almost five times as quickly as in the last US recession in 1991.IFAonline
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