More than 20 fund management groups are to set to make a formal offer to buy 315 Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) branches, the Sunday Times reports.
RBS, which is being forced to sell the branches due to European Commission state aid rules following its government bailout, has told bidders to lodge proposals by Thursday night, the report said.
The fund managers include Schroders, Invesco, Henderson and F&C.
The report said the consortium is thought to be the frontrunner, with the bid fronted by Andy Higginson, former finance director of Tesco.
Santander UK had been in line to take the branches but the deal fell through due to technology issues, the report added.
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