Nationwide-Virgin mortgage mega-deal probed by CMA

The proposed merger between mortgage and financial service providers Nationwide and Virgin Money is to be investigated by the UK’s competition watchdog.

The country’s biggest building society announced the £2.9 billion deal with its smaller rival in March – the biggest banking merger since 2008 – and if it goes ahead the combined group would have 700 branches, second only to Lloyds Banking Group.

The Competition and Markets Authority will examine whether it would result in a substantial lessening of competition within the UK banking sector.

Virgin Money is now the UK’s sixth largest retail bank with around 6.6m customers, while Nationwide has some 18m: the proposed takeover would see thew Virgin brand continue, at least in the short term.

The CMA has set a 40-day deadline for the first phase of its investigation, during which it will evaluate whether the transaction constitutes a “relevant merger situation” and if it could lead to a substantial lessening of competition.

The CMA is inviting comments from any interested parties by June 14.

Meta description: Discover the details of the Nationwide-Virgin mortgage mega-deal as the UK’s competition watchdog investigates the proposed merger.

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