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Santander enters £2bn final bid for RBS branches

SPANISH bank Santander has entered a final offer for the network of 318 UK branches being sold by the Royal Bank of Scotland, sources said.

Santander, understood to be the last remaining bidder for the assets being offloaded after RBS was bailed out by the taxpayer, has put between £1.5bn and £2bn on the table.

The branches, marketed under the revived Williams & Glyn brand, stirred healthy competition when they hit the market last year. But in recent weeks Virgin Money, National Australia Bank and BBVA have all dropped out of the race due to concerns over the outlets’ price tag.

Santander’s purchase would lift its share of the British business market from three to nine per cent.