Portman denies merger reports

Portman has denied that it was 24 hours away from a 30bn merger with the Yorkshire as reported in the national press last week.

Portman, which in March unveiled plans to merge with Lambeth, was rumoured to have rejected a deal with the Yorkshire because of a fallout over the product range the group would offer.

However, a spokeswoman for Portman says that although Robert Sharpe, chief executive of Portman, was in talks with the Yorkshire, media reports were not factually correct and that any possible deal would have been much further away than 24 hours.

She adds: “We have been in talks with the Yorkshire to see if we had any common ground, but found that a merger wasn’t the right way forward and we are no longer in talks. Sharpe continually talks with building societies and will continue to do so.”