Lloyds 'looking for branch disposal help'

23 August 2011

Lloyds Banking Group is looking towards the City regulator in an effort to simplify its branch disposal plans.

The lender - which renamed itself from Lloyds TSB Group in January 2009 after its acquisition of HBOS - is in talks with the Financial Services Authority as it looks for assistance to ease the capital burden for companies keen on purchasing some of its outlets, the Financial Times reports.

Through the discussions, Lloyds is hoping to make it easier for would-be bidders to qualify for less burdensome rules, because a management system is already in place for the branch collection.

It is required to sell 630 outlets in order to satisfy European regulations, but the steep capital demands are proving a significant hurdle as they will make it harder for a new owner to make considerable profits.

Potential suitors for the buildings include investment company NBNK, the Co-operative Group and Sun Capital Partners.

By Claire Archer

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