Latest articles from UK

The bank that changed its spots

October 3, 2005

Alliance & Leicester is run by a chief executive with retailing in his blood. But he is repositioning it as a niche commercial player, as Michael Imeson reports.
A leopard cannot change its spots but a bank can change its make-up. Alliance & Leicester (A&L), Britain’s seventh largest bank and a former building society, is primarily a retail bank but is gradually developing its wholesale banking business.

UK cultivates property derivatives market

October 3, 2005

Many believe that property-linked instruments are poised to become the next big thing in the derivatives market – but they are not sure when. In the first of two articles, The Banker looks at how the market is likely to evolve.Natasha de Teran reports.
Concerns about overheating in the UK property market have been as widespread over the past few years as they ever have been, with many fearing the worst from the record rise in asset prices.

Santander spots an overlooked opportunity

August 1, 2005

When Santander bought Abbey, not everyone agreed it was a good idea. But its strategy for turning around the ailing bank has proved the doubters wrong, as Brian Caplen reports.

Pragmatism eases path to exchange

August 1, 2005

Slough Estates faced a few hurdles in its plans to replace old bonds with current-value new bonds. But, as Edward Russell-Walling recounts, the investors recognised a good deal when they saw it.

UK banks should go Continental

August 1, 2005

Storm clouds are gathering above the UK banking sector. Azhar Rizvi recommends taking shelter in continental Europe.

Inclusive agenda needed to combat terrorism

August 1, 2005

While tighter security is essential in preventing terrorism so, too, is addressing its root causes. This includes tackling disaffection with globalisation, which must be seen to benefit the wider community.

Too much of a good thing?

July 4, 2005

The UK’s Financial Services Authority has set the template for regulation around the world but it has recently come in for criticism from politicians and market players for overdoing the red tape. How justified are the claims? asks Nick Kochan.

Never mind the shirt, watch the shares

July 4, 2005

Having rewritten Lloyds TSB’s poor growth story, CEO Eric Daniels now wants to strengthen the bank’s franchise, he tells Karina Robinson.

Building societies retain resilience

June 6, 2005

The building society sector has survived demutualisation and clung on to sizeable shares of the mortgage and savings markets. But could there be more mergers in the pipeline? Michael Imeson reports.
The day after Tony Blair was returned as UK prime minister for a third term last month, the outcome of a markedly different sort of election was announced. Philip Williamson, chief executive of the Nationwide Building Society, was voted chairman of the Building Societies Association (BSA) for 2005/6.

£3bn ABSA deal to boost Barclays’ African profile

June 6, 2005

The UK’s Barclays is investing close to £3bn in South Africa to get control of that country’s biggest retail bank, Absa – the biggest foreign purchase ever by the British group. The deal has been approved by regulators and has the support of sufficient shareholders to be successful, after almost a year of behind-the-scenes talks.

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