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BANKING MERGER APPROVED.

The European Commission authorised, on 15 October, the acquisition by Banco Santander of Spain of a number of retail and commercial banking assets of Royal Bank of Scotland plc (RBS) in the UK. The assets object of the transaction consist of RBS's branch-related retail and small and medium sized-enterprise (SME) business in England and Wales, the NatWest branch-related retail and SME business in Scotland along with certain mid-corporate customer accounts in the UK, in total approximately 300 branches and around 40 SME and business banking centres. The divestment is part of the conditions set in the state aid control procedure so that RBS shares the costs of its restructuring and compensates for the distortions of competition created by the state support it received (two state recapitalisations totalling more than GBP45 billion and the treatment of a huge portfolio of impaired assets). The Commission notes that the acquisition by Santander will not raise any competition concerns, but its decision is without prejudice to Royal Bank of Scotland's obligations under the state aid procedure.

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Publication:European Report
Date:Oct 19, 2010
Words:172
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