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Santander may acquire Clydesdale Bank from NAB

Spanish banking group Santander is planning to boost its UK banking operations by a possible acquisition of Clydesdale Bank, in a deal valued at nearly £2bn.

National Australia Bank (NAB), which manages Glasgow-based Clydesdale Bank, is looking for a suitable buyer to offload the UK lender, amidst pressure to improve its shareholder returns.

The proposed acquisition of Clydesdale, which also owns the Yorkshire Bank, is expected to boost Santander’s position in the small business banking market, mainly in Scotland and northern England.

Clydesdale, which sustained a pre-tax loss of £183m in the year to September 2012, will eliminate 1,400 jobs and shut down business centers in the south of England by September 2015, in order to revive operations in Scotland and Yorkshire.

Santander attempted to acquire 316 branches from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for £1.65bn last year, but the deal fell apart, as reported by Scotsman.

Established in 1857, Banco Santander manages €1.383bn in funds for more than 102 million clients through its network of 15,000 offices.

With 3.3 million shareholders and 193,000 staff, the bank operates in Spain and Latin America, the UK, Portugal, Germany, Poland, and the northeastern US.