There is increasing speculation again about the future of TSB.

Sabadell’s Chief Executive Officer, Cesar Gonzalez-Bueno tried to quell those rumours when he presented the latest results saying: “TSB is generating capital to fund its own growth. We are very satisfied with the way management and the market and the evolution of the numbers and the strategies going forward. Sorry for being boring, but there are no plans to engage in corporate activity. So, no change”.

But that’s only made matters worse. When he was recently asked if Virgin Money was interested in buying TSB, David Duffy CEO of Virgin said: “We don’t want to do any largescale transactions. The future is not about scaling up, it’s about digital. Bulging up is not the way to grow, in a post Covid digital world. It is about building customers through technology, not about buying someone else’s current accounts”.

The fact is that Virgin Money couldn’t afford TSB anyway and it’s not been very good at acquiring new customers through technology; although neither has TSB for that matter.

It was reported recently that Nationwide, the largest building society in the world with over 15 million customers, was also interested in buying TSB. Discussions between the two senior management teams started last year but never got off the ground. It is clear that Nationwide would be interested in buying TSB, if the price was right.

Debbie Crosbie, who left TSB in December, takes up her new role as Chief Executive Officer of Nationwide later this year. And the potential sale of TSB to Nationwide may be one of the reasons why she was recruited in the first place. Ms Crosbie will be uniquely placed to execute such a takeover. She knows where all the TSB bodies are buried and how much the business is worth. That kind of information would be invaluable if a takeover was to be successful. But don’t expect the Co-op Bank to slink away. Its Chief Executive has made it clear that he still wants to buy TSB; it’s just a question of a price that’s acceptable to Sabadell.

And whatever Cesar may say now, he will sell if the price is right.

But in all this continuing speculation about the future of TSB, it’s the staff who are forgotten. We’ve said it before that whenever there is a merger or a takeover it’s always the employees that lose out. If Sabadell sells, be it this year or next, it will be no different this time. We can expect more branches to close and more jobs to go.

The Competition and Markets Authority will have an important role to play in determining who buys TSB, assuming there’s a sale, and we will campaign to make sure that the interests of staff are not lost in the rush to make money.

GMP Update

The union has been contacted by hundreds of TSB members who may be entitled to have their transfer payments, which they will have received when they transferred out of one of the Lloyds Banking Group Defined Benefit Pension Schemes, recalculated because of the Union’s High Court victory. Many of those members may be entitled to top-up payments which could be worth up to £25k, depending on circumstances. Thousands of Lloyds staff have also registered their interest in the union’s campaign.

A copy of the letter we sent to Harry Baines, Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group Trustee Limited, enclosing the details of those members who have registered to have the transfer payments recalculated, can be found here.

We will keep members informed of developments.

Members with any questions should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 (choose Option 1).

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