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RBS to sell off Yarmouth bank

PUBLISHED: 15:17 04 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:31 03 July 2010

The streetscape of Great Yarmouth looks set to change after Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group announced a sell-off of branches.

News of the sale, demanded by the European Commission to allay fears over competition after the two were bailed out by the government, has also prompted speculation that Norwich-based Virgin Money could be looking to acquire some branches.

The streetscape of Great Yarmouth looks set to change after Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group announced a sell-off of branches.

News of the sale, demanded by the European Commission to allay fears over competition after the two were bailed out by the government, has also prompted speculation that Norwich-based Virgin Money could be looking to acquire some branches.

RBS outlets in Queen Street, Norwich, and Hall Quay, Great Yarmouth are among all 318 of its English branches being sold off.

Lloyds, meanwhile, is selling off about 250 Lloyds TSB branches.

The locations have not yet been identified, but it is possible they could include some of its six branches in Norwich and suburbs, two in Great Yarmouth and one in Gorleston.

It is also selling off its Cheltenham & Gloucester arm, whose branches include one on Guildhall Hill, Norwich.

RBS is also selling its insurance business, which includes brands such as Churchill, Direct Line, Privilege and Green Flag, while Lloyds is disposing of online bank Intelligent Finance.

Virgin Money, which applied last month to the Financial Services Authority for its banking licence, has been repeatedly linked with a deal to buy Northern Rock, and was on the verge of success in February last year when the government scrapped the sale and nationalised the lender.

The chancellor Alastair Darling announced yesterday that the government was in “no hurry” to sell Northern Rock assets, adding that it would wait until the price was right and it could get its money back.

Andrew Hagger, of financial data provider Moneynet.co.uk, said Virgin Money could well be interested in acquiring the Lloyds and RBS branches.

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