Santander to take RBS branches?

Santander to take RBS branches?

Santander is looking at taking millions of customers from the Royal Bank of Scotland.

This revolves around RBS being restructured after the bail-out, which is going to forge a new bank called Williams & Glyn. RBS are having some technical issues getting it up and running, but when they do, the Spanish-owned bank might be taking it through an asset transfer deal.

Basically, Santander UK would acquire W&G and their £24 billion of deposits, over 300 branches, and almost 2 million customers. They wouldn't need to wait for RBS to complete their IT program for it, which has been causing problems.

There's been negotiations between the two companies, and they're still working out if everything can actually be done correctly. This is not a simple transaction.

Santander UK have been here before, in 2012, with talks collapsing over the IT concerns.

The issue is pressing though, as the terms of the state aid agreement between the Treasury and the European Commission, RBS have to divest W&G fully by the close of 2017.

RBS say: "There is a significant risk that the separation and divestment to which we are committed will not be achieved by 31st December 2017".

"Due to the complexities of Williams & Glyn's customer and product mix, the programme to create a cloned banking platform continues to be very challenging and the timetable to achieve separation is uncertain."

Virgin Money and TSB-owner Banco Sabadell have also been sniffing around W&G.

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