Major banking brands Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland will all remain on the high street after the planned HBOS rescue, Lloyds TSB said today.
But there was no update on potential branch closures or the impact on staff of the takeover plans.
Lloyds TSB and HBOS to become a ‘superbank’
Lloyds said it would not give further details until it had finished a detailed review on the “size and shape” of the branch networks.
The take over of HBOS by Lloyds TSB will create the UK’s biggest bank, set to be called Lloyds Banking Group, with about 145,000 staff and 3,000 branches.
Which? money editor Martyn Hocking said: ‘Which? has been campaigning to ensure that merged banks and nationalised banks offer competitive products, varied choice and a fair deal for consumers. The reluctance of Halifax and Nationwide to pass on this weeks rate cut demonstrates the importance of this campaign.’
Lloyds takeover yet to be approved by HBOS shareholders
Lloyds shareholders overwhelmingly backed the takeover last month, but HBOS investors have yet to approve the deal.
They will get the chance to have their say next Friday, although the vote comes amid mounting opposition to the deal in Scotland.
The Competition Appeal Tribunal will next week reportedly hear a legal challenge lodged by an alliance of Scottish businessmen, HBOS account holders and investors – with a ruling potentially before the HBOS shareholder meeting.
Business secretary Lord Mandelson cleared the planned merger between Lloyds TSB and HBOS in October after ruling the tie-up to be in the public interest.
Bank of Scotland fears redundancies
However, the disgruntled Merger Action Group is said to be seeking a review of the decision not to refer it to the Competition Commission.
There are fears of widespread job losses and branch closures, with concerns that the deal will have a particular impact in Scotland.
It has also yet to decide if the Bank of Scotland corporate brand would continue outside Scotland, although it confirmed the Lloyds corporate business would remain in England and Wales.
The takeover is set to complete in January if it gets the go-ahead.
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