Battle for RBS branches heats up

Santander, the frontrunner to buy £1.5bn of bank branches put up for sale by Royal Bank of Scotland, faces increased competition. National Australia Bank and BBVA, who are also in the running for the assets, are understood to have held talks about teaming up for a bid through a joint venture. Santander sees the RBS outlets as a natural fit for its British business and has significant financial clout.