Lloyds-HBOS bank "the UK’s biggest"

Britain's biggest bank will be known as Lloyds Banking Group if the Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) and Lloyds TSB merger goes ahead.

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With £300 billion of deposits and a third of the mortgage market, the merged Lloyds-HBOS bank will be by far the UK's biggest.

HBOS has about 1,100 branches around the UK, including 320 in Scotland, while Lloyds TSB has 1,900, about 160 of which are under the Cheltenham & Gloucester banner.

It is not yet clear how many will close, although the bulk of the looked-for £790 million of cost savings over three years will be from the retail sector.

The 'superbank' merger was given official Government approval on Friday, despite competition concerns raised by the Office of Fair Trading.

Lloyds said the new name, to be used once the proposed acquisition completes in mid-January next year, "is intended to be an inclusive representation of all the brands that will sit underneath it".

Copyright © PA Business 2008

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