Levene of Lloyds Said to Plan Fund to Buy Bank Branches Part-Owned by U.K.
Lloyd’s of London Chairman Peter Levene and David Walker, senior adviser at Morgan Stanley, are planning an investment fund to buy bank branches part-owned by the British government, according to two people briefed on the plans.
The company will seek sell shares on the London Stock Exchange within weeks, initially with 50 million pounds ($76 million) of funding, said the people who declined to be identified because the discussions are private.
Levene, 68, and Walker, 70, would be the latest entrants to the banking industry, following Richard Branson’s Virgin Money Holdings U.K. Ltd. and Vernon Hill’s Metro Bank, which opens its first branch this month. The new company will seek to buy Northern Rock Plc, with 57 branches, or the 600 outlets being sold by Lloyds Banking Group Plc. It will offer branch-based banking for consumers and businesses, the people said.
Walker, who wrote a government-commissioned report on corporate governance last year, declined to comment. Levene wasn’t immediately available to comment.
The company will have 10 shareholders, including Aviva Plc and F&C Asset Management Plc, the people said. An F&C spokesman declined to comment while an Aviva spokesman didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
Levene will be chairman and Walker a non-executive director of the new company, which doesn’t have its own banking license and is seeking to fill management roles, said one of the people. Sky News reported the story earlier.