Santander denies interest in NAB's UK arm
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SYDNEY, Jan 22 AAP
January 22 2013, 09:48AM
Spanish bank Santander has denied speculation it is interested in buying National Australia Bank's troubled British banks.
Investors had pushed up NAB's shares on Monday after London's Sunday Times reported Santander was considering a STG2 billion ($A3.04 billion) offer for the Yorkshire and Clydesdale banks.
But a spokesman for Santander has downplayed the report.
He told Dow Jones Newswires in London overnight that Santander was not in talks with NAB and, instead, was focused on organic growth for its British operations.
Clydesdale and Yorkshire made a STG139 million ($A210.99 million) loss for the year to September, due to a weak British economy and poor-quality small business and real estate loans.
In April, NAB said it would cut 1,400 jobs as it restructured its UK business.
It also transferred Clydesdale's real estate loans, worth STG6 billion ($A9.11 billion), to an NAB branch in London.