Santander is rumoured to be preparing to float 20 per cent of its assets on the UK stock market in a bid to raise £3 billion.
According to the Financial Times the Spanish bank, which also owns Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester, is reported to be planning to float a chunk of Santander UK before the end of the year.
Listing part of the division, which also includes Abbey, the high street lender, would raise cash that could then be used to fund more acquisitions, including a portfolio of 318 UK branches from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
The deal, which is said to be in the negotiation stage is likely to cost Santander around £1.5bn to £1.8bn.
But experts are doubting the banks move, saying it could be bad timing.
Speaking to Reuters analyst Bruce Packard at brokerage Seymour Pierce said: “Because Santander acquired Bradford & Bingley's deposits, the UK subsidiary should have relatively less reliance on wholesale markets for funding, and so this might be one of the more attractive bank offerings in the next few years.
"Still it won't be easy, not least because of the macro backdrop and a greater level of scepticism in London than in Madrid."
Santander’s share price has fared no better than other Spanish banks, falling 15 per cent this year, and underperforming the European average by more than 10 per cent, causing concern for investors over their move to buy up more assets.
© Fair Investment Company Ltd