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Co-op’s bid for Lloyds branches stalls

The Co-operative Group is reportedly under pressure to overhaul its board if it is to succeed in its bid for the 630 Lloyds Banking Group branches up for sale.

The mutual was chosen as the preferred bidder in December and terms were expected to be agreed by the end of the month.

But sources close to the deal told the Financial Times the mutual would need to conduct an overhaul of its board in order to convince the Financial Services Authority it is capable of running a large banking business and that terms would therefore not be agreed until at least the middle of the year.

The report states the regulator is looking for the Co-op to appoint more banking experts to its board, especially a risk expert. The board is led by Len Wardle, a university fellow, and Paul Flowers, who is a Methodist minister.

The move would triple the size of Co-op’s banking arm, giving it almost 1,000 branches.


Lenders go to HMRC to check 269 suspect cases

Lenders have verified the income details of 269 mortgage applicants they suspect of committing fraud using HM Revenue & Custom’s mortgage verification scheme. The scheme, which launched in September, is designed to combat mortgage fraud by allowing lenders to verify the income details declared by mortgage applicants with those registered with HMRC for a £14 […]

Small lenders buckle under demand, with Accord pulling all deals again

Accord Mortgages’ decision to pull its product range for the second time in a month has sparked fears that smaller lenders are struggling to cope with demand. Accord withdrew all its residential products last week to maintain service levels after receiving a high volume of applications. It is expected to replace the products at some […]


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