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Bank deal off

The Lerwick branch of Lloyds TSB. Photo Robbie/Shetlopedia

PLANS for The Co-operative Bank to take over the Lerwick branch of Lloyds along with 631 other branches across the country have fallen through.

Co-op chief executive Peter Marks announced on Tuesday evening that the deal was off after more than a year of talks, blaming the economic and regulatory environment.

Lloyds had been ordered to sell the former TSB branches following its £20 billion taxpayer bail out following the global financial crisis, which began in 2008 costing millions of jobs worldwide.

The Co-op/Lloyds deal was being assisted by the UK government, which has pledged to bring an end to the dominance of the big five high street banks.

Now the 632 branches will be rebranded as TSB and put up for sale to the highest bidder.

Marks said buying the branches would not have been in the best interest of the Co-op’s customers, but it may be that a deal that would have tripled the size of the mutual’s banking sector was simply to large to take on.

“This decision reflects the impact of the current economic environment, the worsened outlook for economic growth and the increasing regulatory requirements on the financial services sector in general,” Marks said.

As for customers at the Lerwick Lloyds Bank and elsewhere, they are being told not to worry.

“There are no direct impacts to customers as a result of today’s announcements,” Lloyds said.

“Customers don’t need to do anything and can carry on banking in the same way as they do now, accessing their accounts as usual via the branch, telephone and online banking.”

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