Co-op/Lloyds deal will treble the group’s banking presence and offer golden opportunity
BBC business editor Robert Peston hailed the Co-op’s acquisition of 632 bank branches from Lloyds as the ‘deal of the millennium’. It is hard to disagree, and not just because it picked them up cheap.
Though there are daunting logistical challenges to meet - some IT-related - the purchase looks set to create a new force in the sector which is little tarnished by the rolling bank scandals of recent years. What it will also do is treble the Co-op’s banking footprint to 1,000 branches; handing the mutual a golden opportunity to promote legal services which it has already pledged to roll out across the existing estate.
Not yet though. The deal won’t even be implemented until 2013. Indeed, the Co-op’s spinners played down this prospect, stressing that offering legal services through the legacy Lloyds estate ‘hasn’t been considered yet’. Perhaps so. But if it has not, you can bank on the fact it will be - and soon. The synergy is too compelling.
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