Tesco has emerged as a potential bidder for Northern Rock as the Government races to sell the state-owned lender before a general election, The Times has learnt.
The supermarket chain has shown provisional interest in buying the bank nationalised as the credit crisis brought the financial system within hours of collapse. Virgin, which tried to buy Northern Rock at the time, has expressed renewed interest and private equity funds have made inquiries.
Gordon Brown is keen to prove to voters that his rescue worked. If at all possible, he wants Northern Rock returned to the private sector at a substantial profit. Ministers say that he wants desperately to avoid a Conservative government taking the credit.
Whitehall officials told The Times that they “would not be surprised” if the bank were sold before the election. Full story…
SIR WIN BISCHOFF, THE former chairman of Citigroup, has emerged as the frontrunner to take the chairmanship at Lloyds Banking Group, the part-nationalised High Street lender, according to The Telegraph.
Sir Win, 67, and British trade minister Lord Davies have been viewed as strong candidates to succeed Sir Victor Blank, who announced his imminent departure earlier this year.
However, there has been some doubt in the past week over Lord Davies’ interest in the role. The former chief of Standard Chartered was reportedly offered the role but turned it down.
Lord Davies, who joined Lord Mandelson’s team at the Department for Business in January, is thought to be enjoying his role too much to want to switch back to commercial life. He was brought in by Gordon Brown to help fix the banking system. Full story…
ANOTHER 2,100 JOBS ARE being cut at Lloyds Banking Group as the merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS claims more casualties, reports The Guardian.
Unions reacted with anger today after staff at Lloyds's group and wholesale banking divisions were told that the cuts are being made.
It takes total number of job losses since Lloyds rescued HBOS last autumn to around 7,000. The process of integrating the two banks is expected to take three years, with predictions that up to 25,000 roles could eventually be eliminated.
The Unite union again criticised Lloyds for its policy of announcing job cuts in a piecemeal fashion. Full story…
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