Santander takeover of Abbey gets EU green light

16th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 September 2004, BRUSSELS- The European Commission has approved the proposed takeover of Britain's Abbey National by Banco Santander Central Hispano S.A of Spain.

16 September 2004

BRUSSELS- The European Commission has approved the proposed takeover of Britain's Abbey National by Banco Santander Central Hispano S.A of Spain.

"The takeover raises no competition concerns since the two banks presently operate mostly in different countries," said the EU executive in a statement, referring to the takeover of Britain's sixth largest banking group.

The commission noted that Banco Santander is Spain's leading banking and financial services group.

"In Europe, however, the group operates mostly in Spain and Portugal which means that there are either no geographical overlaps with the activities of Abbey -- itself mostly a UK player - or they are insignificant," it said.

The commission added that Banco Santander had indicated that it had agreed with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to terminate certain aspects of their 1988 alliance. RBS is one of the four big banks in the United Kingdom.

"One such aspect concerns the reciprocal representation on each others' boards, or cross-directorships. The agreement to amend the Banco Santander/RBS alliance has been considered as a fact in the Commissions assessment of the proposed operation," it said.

The EU competition commissioner, Mario Monti, has already described the pending linkup as "a contribution to the objective of the (European) Commission to have a more integrated financial services market."

Santander chairman Emilio Botin has been at pains to tell potential investors that the first cross-border banking link-up in the European Union would be a "very important step in the history of the group."
 
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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