Clydesdale Bank to split from parent company

<p>The break-up should be complete by the end of the year.</p>

Glasgow-based Clydesdale Bank is to be split from its Australian parent company – National Australia Bank (NAB) – and then floated.

According to the BBC, Clydesdale, which includes Yorkshire Bank, will have 70 to 80 per cent of its shares transferred to existing NAB shareholders. The remaining shares in a new entity, known as listco, will then be offered to institutional investors.

The entire process should be completed by the end of the year, says NAB. Shares will be listed on the London Stock Exchange, as well as the Australian market.

A 'drag' on NAB's performance

The announcement of the demerger was made from NAB's Melbourne headquarters. The bank has been trying to find a buyer for Clydesdale for several years. Last autumn, chief executive Andrew Thorburn said that getting rid of Clydesdale would be a priority for 2015. 

Misconduct has also been an issue for the company.

The Financial Conduct Authority told NAB that it must provide up to £1.7 billion in cover against the potential costs of misconduct and mis-selling.

In April, Clydesdale was fined a record £21 million for failing to handle mis-selling claims properly. The Times reports that the bank refused compensation to victims of payment protection insurance (PPI) by denying they had the insurance product or lying about the availability of records.

They are also alleged to have removed evidence of PPI in a number of cases that were later referred to the Financial Ombudsmen. And they were reported to take an 'obstructive attitude' in other cases by refusing to search for old loan documents.

Financial improvements

NAB's announcement came after the firm's half-year results were released.

Clydesdale Bank has seen a 33 per cent improvement in pre-tax cash earnings, bringing them to £118 million. In addition, gross lending has increased by five per cent to £28 billion. Mortgage lending was also up 15 per cent and average deposit volumes over the last six months have averaged £24.2 billion – up by £900 million.

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