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Abbey National PLC (SAN)


Monday 29 September, 2008

Abbey National PLC

B&B's Direct Channels & Depos

RNS Number : 5164E
Abbey National PLC
29 September 2008

29 September 2008
Bradford & Bingley's direct channels and retail deposits to transfer to Abbey
Following the announcement by HM Treasury (29 September 2008) to take Bradford & Bingley plc (B&B) into public ownership, the retail deposits, branch network and its related employees will transfer, under the provisions of the Banking (Special Provisions) Act 2008, to Abbey National plc ('Abbey'), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banco Santander S.A. ('Santander').
As outlined in the HM Treasury statement, all of B&B's customer loans and treasury assets, which includes the £41 billion of mortgage assets, will be taken under public ownership. 
The transfer to Abbey consists of:
·     £20 billion retail deposit base with 2.7 million customers;
·     B&B's direct channels including 197 retail branches, 141 agencies (distribution outlets in 3rd party premises) and related employees.
The acquisition price will be £612 million, including the transfer of £208 million of capital relating to offshore companies.  
The transfer of the B&B's customers and their retail deposits further strengthens Abbey's retail customer deposit base and franchise. It also allows Santander to deliver increased critical mass in the UK through greater distribution scale.
The combined business of Abbey, Alliance & Leicester (A&L) and B&B will have 1,286 branches with a good geographic spread across the UK. In addition, it is also expected that upon completion of the transfer, Santander's UK market share of retail deposits will increase to around 10%1, and the combined business will also have a customer base of 24 million.
António Horta-Osório, Chief Executive of Abbey, said: 'This is good news for Bradford & Bingley's savings customers. They can be certain that their hard-earned savings are with a bank they can trust as Abbey is part of the Santander Group, one of the world's most successful banks. It has an AA credit rating and a strong retail focus with more branches worldwide than any other international bank. As such, Santander has been well-positioned to succeed in the current market turbulence.
'The transfer of deposits and the branch network further increases the scale of our operations in the UK to around 10% of the market, an important strategic objective for us. We will significantly increase the potential of our distribution capability through the additional branches and have brought a further 2.7 million customers to the bank.'
Bradford & Bingley's customers will continue to use their existing channels - branches, telephone and internet - for transactions, as usual. The Bradford & Bingley brand will also remain.
1 Retail deposit market share based upon combination of Abbey, A&L and B&B, subject to the successful completion of A&L transaction and transfer of B&B retail deposits.
Abbey & Santander
Abbey National plc (“Abbey”) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Banco Santander, S.A. (“Santander”) (SAN.MC, STD.N). Founded in 1857, Santander has more than 60 million customers, over 13,000 offices and a presence in over 40 countries. It is the largest financial group in Spain and is a major player in Latin America and elsewhere in Europe, including in the United Kingdom (through Abbey) and in Portugal. Through Santander Consumer it also operates a leading consumer finance franchise in Germany, Italy, Spain and ten other European countries.
Santander has a secondary listing of its ordinary shares on the London Stock Exchange and Abbey continues to have its preference shares listed on the London Stock Exchange. Nothing in this press release constitutes or should be construed as constituting a profit forecast. 
Matthew Young (Communications Director) 020 7756 4232
Anthony Frost  (Head of Corporate Communications)  020 7756 5536
Bruce Rush (Investor Relations) 020 7756 4275

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