Announcing its financial results for January to September 2010, the Spanish bank Santander has indicated it will float a portion of its UK business on the London Stock Exchange.
The flotation is likely to raise billions for Santander and help fund its recent expansion, as well as boosting capital.
The bank said its profit in the last nine months declined by 9.8 per cent after making changes to its capital provisions – required by the Bank of Spain. The Bank said it had opted for the ‘most conservative application’ of the Spanish central bank’s requirements.
A statement from the bank said: “The capital ratios underline Banco Santander’s strong solvency, with Tier 1 of 9.7% and core capital of 8.5%, compared to 9.2% and 7.7%, respectively a year earlier.”
Commenting on its UK expansion, Santander said it had signed an agreement in August to acquire 318 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland which included business banking centres. The acquisition amounts to £21,500million of assets and £22,400million in deposits.
Since 2004, Santander have made a number of acquisitions in the UK, including buying Abbey, then Alliance and Leicester and elements of Bradford and Bingley in the run-up to and during the financial crisis.
RBS was forced to sell parts of its business under European competition rules because it received state aid from the government.
The UK contributed 18 per cent (£1,313million) to the groups profits, Spain 17 per cent and Brazil 25 per cent.
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