Lloyds Banking Group are to sell the TSB and Cheltenham and Gloucester brands to the Co-operative Bank along with 632 branches and around 4.8 million customers. As a result of the state bail out in 2009 the European regulators ruled that Lloyds had to sell part of their business, to increase competition between UK banks.
Lloyds have published a complete list of the branches being sold which consist of all C&G branches, all Lloyds TSB Scotland branches and some Lloyds TSB branches in England and Wales. This includes a 4.7 million personal banking accounts and (something that hasn’t featured highly in the national press) around 100,000 business banking customers.
Lloyds say that they’ll make sure every customer affected is kept fully informed about what it means for them. You don’t need to do anything at the moment and can continue to bank as usual. For personal customers, unless you have a particular objection to banking with the Co-op, the impact shouldn’t be too significant.
However if you’re a business banking customer with finance agreements you’ll want to assess how the change might impact your business. Banking charges, business credit cards, Cardnet (card payment services), Ceridian (SME Managed Payroll Service), overdraft agreements, and the terms for any outstanding loans or other finance agreements could all be affected. Plus you might end up banking with the Co-op but still have some services with Lloyds.
The deal is expected to complete by November 2013 so there’s no need to worry immediately, but if you’re one of the affected businesses who are going to be transferred during the sale you need to start verifying that your banking arrangements won’t negatively impact your business.