UK lender Lloyds Banking Group plc (LON:LLOY) may manage to sell its more than 600 bank branches, which it is rebranding as TSB, to a trade or financial buyer ahead of the planned initial public offering for the business next summer, TSB’s new CEO Paul Pester said, as cited by Reuters.
Lloyds has to sell the operations under obligations to the European Union after it had received state aid during the financial crisis. The move is aimed at enhancing competition in the domestic banking sector. The lender failed to divest the branches to The Co-operative Group (Co-op) in April because it was worried about the buyer’s financial position.
Pester said TSB would be operated as an independent business before the listing, but according to Lloyds’ group retail director Allison Britton, the business will initially have only semi-independence.
TSB is seen to become UK’s eighth largest retail bank that will have a 4.3% share of the current account market and will serve 4.5m customers.