Two British banks merge in wake of credit crunch

January 21st, 2009 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 21 (DPA) Two of Britain’s biggest customer-owned banks are to merge to create a new business in a streamlining effort resulting from the credit crunch, it was announced Wednesday.Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) and Britannia building society said they agreed a deal that would create a business with assets of 70 billion pounds ($97 billion), nine million customers and more than 12,000 employees at 300 branches.

The new business would provide a “unique, ethical alternative to shareholder - and government -owned banks”, a joint statement said.

Both businesses have been active in the mortgage and personal and corporate lending markets, and the merged firm would look to expand lending, the statement said.

“Owing to the damage done by the credit crunch, people have been crying out for a new way of doing business with a financial organisation of substance that truly has their interests at heart: this merger will create that organisation and we hope to attract many thousands of new customers as a result,” it said.

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