Spanish banking giant Santander is planning to list its UK operations on the London Stock Exchange as soon as this autumn in a deal worth an estimated £3bn.
The Financial Times reports the move will allow Santander to continue its rapid expansion plans, which includes the 318 UK branches from Royal Bank of Scotland it is on the verge of acquiring. The RBS branch acquisition could end up costing the group £1.5bn to £1.8bn.
If market conditions are favourable, the group aims to float 20% of Santander UK, the subsidiary formed by the roll-up of its UK acquisitions - Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and the savings division of Bradford & Bingley. The transaction could raise an estimated £3bn.
The move would replicate last year's $7bn IPO of part of Santander's Brazilian subsidiary.
The UK is one of the Spanish bank's strongest divisions, increasing its share of mortgages and savings accounts in the past year and reporting profit growth of 15% in the first quarter.
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till