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Barclays to acquire Standard Life

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  • 02/11/2009
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Barclays’s expected acquisition of Standard Life Bank for £226m will enhance its strong position in the market, according to industry figures.

Standard Life’s mortgage book with its outstanding balances of approximately £8.8bn and average LTV of 48%. Following completion of the deal, which is expected in Q1 2010, the firms will explore joint opportunities in the UK retail long-term savings and investments sector.

A spokesperson for Standard Life Bank said that the sale was in its best interests. She added: “We have been limiting lending in recent years and increasing lending activity is not consistent with our long-term objectives.”

Michael O’Toole, spokesperson for Barclays, said the deal was crucial to its aim of becoming the
strongest UK retail bank.

He added: “Standard Life is an excellent fit with our existing businesses, as it brings a significant savings book and high quality mortgage book. We will be able to add 350,000 affluent customers and can grow our deposit base at a time when there is competition for deposits.”

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol, agreed that Barclays would be able to add to its market share through reaching new customers, but he lamented the loss of Standard Life Bank.

He added: “The deal will increase Barclays’s access to customers, but it is probably too small to have a significant impact on its operations. However, it is bad for competition that there is one fewer lender. Although Standard Life was uncompetitive towards the end, it was active in the buy-to-let sector and offered deals which other lenders did not.”

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