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Brussels May Force Lloyds To Surrender Halifax


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http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle6836138.ece

The European Commission has warned Lloyds Banking Group that it may have to split off Halifax as punishment for the billions of pounds of state aid that it has received.

Neelie Kroes, the Competition Commissioner, has yet to make a final decision, but banking sources say it is clear that she is planning to impose draconian penalties on Lloyds.

Ms Kroes is understood to have rejected Lloyds’ attempt to limit the remedial action it must take to selling Cheltenham & Gloucester and making limited disposals in Scotland.

Instead, the Commission has said that it wants Lloyds, the UK’s largest retail bank, with almost one third of the market, to give up far more of its empire.

The Commission forced Commerzbank to shed 45 per cent of its balance sheet in return for €18 billion (£16 billion) in state aid. Yesterday the body warned that the Netherlands’ deal to bail out ING may have been too generous to the bank.

A person close to the UK banks said: “The Commission have been quite clear they can’t be seen to let the UK off lightly." Sacrificing Halifax would almost certainly trigger the resignation of Eric Daniels, the chief executive of Lloyds, and would lead to fresh embarrassment for Gordon Brown, who waived the competition rules last September to allow Lloyds to take over HBOS in a rescue deal.

One person close to the negotiations with Brussels said: “The Commission has not made a final decision, but what they are talking about Lloyds giving up sounds a lot like Halifax.†Lloyds declined to comment.

Lloyds is fighting hard to save Halifax. Some believe that the bank may be able to reach a compromise with Brussels that would allow it to keep the Halifax name but sell a significant number of its 1,000 branches.

So what's the betting Llodys are secretly hoping they have to ditch the Halifax. Clearly it was a merged forced on them and Brussels may give them a get out of jail card.

Would Llodys be relieved at having to ditch the halifax?

Plus if it's going to sell branches who the hell is going to buy them in the current market?

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Tesco. Banking is thier next big business. The rumour in Cheltenham was that C&G was saved because Tesco's are going to buy them. As to whether they could afford all of Halifax is another matter.

From the perspective of the C&G head office employees whom I know a forced disposal of the Halifax business would be a good thing as it would probably save C&G. Not so sure about Tesco though, they may want the business but I can't see that they would want the brand or the HQ offices at Barnwood

(edited for syntax)

Edited by DaisyB
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So what's the betting Llodys are secretly hoping they have to ditch the Halifax. Clearly it was a merged forced on them and Brussels may give them a get out of jail card.

Would Llodys be relieved at having to ditch the halifax?

Hardly a get out of free jail card since to get rid of Halifax they would have to move a lot of the toxic waste out of Halifax and on to their own balance sheet. Essentially anything with any value gets sold off and Lloyds gets lumped with the non-performing rubbish.

A huge embarrasment for all involved since without the Halifax merger Lloyds most likely wouldn't have needed public sector support at all.

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I got a letter telling me my C&G was closing. Then another letter saying they were not closing. You couldn't make this up :P .

I got those 2 letters too.

Then when I phoned the C and G on Friday, they told me that it might not be correct that they are not closing after all. :unsure:

I asked about interest rates for my isa, they advised me to transfer it elsewhere, if I wanted more than 0.5%.

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Is it me or are the banking adverts on TV beginning to be stuffed and dominated by failed / bailed out banks coming over all touchy feely and touting for more of the market? Certainly Shatwest are, what an odious POS that advert is.

Edited by OnlyMe
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http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle6836138.ece

So what's the betting Llodys are secretly hoping they have to ditch the Halifax. Clearly it was a merged forced on them and Brussels may give them a get out of jail card.

Would Llodys be relieved at having to ditch the halifax?

Plus if it's going to sell branches who the hell is going to buy them in the current market?

I thought the Lloyds Group only needed a massive bail-out BECAUSE of the HBoS takeover ?

Must be somewhere in the 'top ten' of completely cocked-up business deals, pop pickers.

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Is it me or are the banking adverts on TV beginning to be stuffed and dominated by failed / bailed out banks coming over all touchy feely and touting for more of the market? Certainly Shatwest are, what an odious POS that advert is.

No it's not just you OM.

Haven't most banking ads always been of been of the vomit-inducing kind though?

I wonder what 'our' advertising budget is? - I don't recall being consulted. Was anyone?

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