Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Worries Mount for Co-Op Bank as Secure Trust Rules out Bid

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Worries Mount for Co-Op Bank as Secure Trust Rules out Bid

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon English and Michael Bow

CHALLENGER bank Secure Trust has ruled itself out of the bidding for the Co-op Bank amid rising speculation about whether Britain's biggest "ethical" bank has a future.

Secure Trust is on the up, with profits and dividends rising. Its strong capital base and entry into the main market of the stock exchange leaves it in a good position to do deals, said chief Paul Lynam.

"We have repositioned the business and have a huge amount of capital to grow," he said. Lynam is looking at takeovers and is "particularly interested" in expanding its mortgage presence.The Co-op Bank has been seeking a buyer since February to drag it out of a dire financial position. It has a PS400 million bond to repay in September.

Lynam said: "Lots of people are having investment bankers coming to see them, suggesting it is a bargain. It has got less capital than it needs. It's difficult to see a compelling economic case for buying it."

He added: "It may be attractive to someone like Santander or Clydesdale. …

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