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NBNK on track for Lloyds bid

NBNK is on track for its bid for the 632 Lloyds Banking Group branches currently up for sale, its interim results for the first half of 2011 reveal.

The results confirm that NBNK submitted a bid in early July to acquire the Lloyds group branches, and has now entered the second stage of the process.

Gary Hoffman, chief executive of NBNK, says in the report that the firm’s primary focus in the first half of this year has been preparing and delivering a bid for the Lloyds group assets.

He says: “Our focus has been on building the company’s capability and credibility in the market place so that we are seen as a serious bidder for any banking assets that the board might identify for potential acquisition.

“We have been successful in this and are able to provide assurance to potential targets, regulators and others that NBNK has the necessary management expertise, capital raising capability and technical capability to acquire and manage a substantial UK high street bank.”

The results also say that the firm is prepared to consider one or more acquisitions in its drive to launch and scale up its banking operations in the UK.

NBNK has been reported to be bidding for Northern Rock and earlier this month suspended its shares over speculation that it was due to acquire Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.

In addition, the results show that NBNK made a pre-tax loss of £7.7m for the six months to June 30.

The firm does not currently offer any banking services and a spokesman for NBNK says the loss is attributable to the investment it has made in preparation for an acquisition.

The spokesman says: “The firm is currently in a transitory phase where it is investing in recruiting staff ahead of acquiring a branch network.”

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