Abbey says Spanish takeover harmed market share

27th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 October 2004, LONDON - British bank Abbey National said Wednesday that its share of Britain's mortgage-lending market slipped in the third quarter, blaming the drop on distraction due to its looming takeover by Spain's Banco Santander Central Hispano (SCH).

27 October 2004

LONDON - British bank Abbey National said Wednesday that its share of Britain's mortgage-lending market slipped in the third quarter, blaming the drop on distraction due to its looming takeover by Spain's Banco Santander Central Hispano (SCH).

Britain's second-biggest home-loan provider said its share of gross mortgage lending for the year to date dropped to 8.6 percent, down from 9.0 percent at the end of the second quarter.

Abbey said disruption caused by its restructuring programme, highlighted at the time of its interim results three months ago, was compounded by the SCH takeover saga.

"Nonetheless, a speedy conclusion to the transaction has avoided a marked deterioration at this time, and this is evidenced by third quarter results broadly consistent with second quarter trends," Abbey's outgoing chief executive Luqman Arnold said.

The group reported gross mortgage lending for the three months to the end of September of EUR 9.26. million (GBP 4 bn  USD 11.8 bn dollars).

Abbey said earlier this year that it expected to post annual pre-tax profits in 2004 after two years of heavy losses.

The bank is 20 months into a three-year programme to sell or wind down all its non-core business and concentrate on its personal finance activities, in a bid to turn around the group's fortunes.

Abbey first announced in late July that it had accepted a takeover bid from SCH under which Spain's largest bank would offer one new SCH share and a special cash dividend of 31 pence for each Abbey share in a deal worth GBP 8.5-bn.

Since then the European Commission has green-lighted the takeover and shareholders in both companies have overwhelmingly backed the bid. 

The link-up, the largest ever in European retail banking, is set to go ahead by November 2007.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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