Threadneedle and Schroders are among the City firms that have been approached about buying a stake in the 316 Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) branches the bank has put up for sale, according to reports.
Broker Canaccord Genuity has reportedly approached City investors with the aim of forming a consortium to bid for the branches, which RBS has been ordered to offload by regulators.
The structure of a potential bid is unclear, but could take the form of an initial public offering, in which a shell company buys the operations and then sells shares to investors, according to the FT.
"Threadneedle is always willing to look at investing in potentially interesting publicly-quoted companies," Threadneedle head of equities Leigh Harrison told the paper.
Schroders, RBS and Canaccord Genuity declined to comment.
RBS had previously reached an agreement to sell the branches to Santander but that deal collapsed last year after a drawn-out sale process. European rules over state aid require the bank to offload the branches following its bailout by the UK government in 2008.
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