Britain's financial regulators have given approval for Spain's Banco Sabadell's £1.7 billion takeover of TSB.
The Spanish bank agreed to buy TSB earlier this year, saying that it planned to grow the firm into a challenger to Britain's current top five lenders – Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC and the UK arm of Santander.
Together, the "Big 5" control more than 80 per cent of personal current accounts in the UK.
On Tuesday (June 30th), Sabadell announced that the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority had approved the deal.
The offer period is still open – so shareholders can still agree to the deal if they haven't already. However, Banco de Sabadell already has enough approvals for the deal to go through.
Commenting on the news, Sabadell Chairman Josep Oliu said: "This is a milestone that enables us to enter a market with vast opportunities."
The bank has also indicated that it may consider more acquisitions in Britain. "With the exra firepower and fresh perspective of Sabadell, TSB will be stronger and even better placed to build on its position as Britain's challenger bank," said TSB chief executive Paul Pester.
Last year, TSB spun out of Lloyds after European regulators ordered Lloyds to sell the business as a condition of its £20.5 billion bailout during the financial crisis. TSB has around 4.7 million customers.
TSB will be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange on July 28th.
Possible windfall for employees
In March, the Telegraph reported that thousands of TSB employees would likely share a windfall worth tens of millions of pounds if the takeover went through.
Bank employees had put millions of pounds into an employee share save scheme in the months since TSB was floated. This meant that staff could have the option to cash in the 6.3 million shares they had bought under the employee's share scheme – which were worth £21 million at Sabadell's offer price. The shares would otherwise be subject to a three-year lock-up.