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Yorkshire and Chelsea building societies in merger talks

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by Kay Mitchell

It has been reported that the Yorkshire Building Society is in talks with the Chelsea Building Society about a possible merger.

Should a deal prove to be successful between the Yorkshire and Chelsea, it would create an institution with over 2 million customers and assets of around £38 billion.

The deal will be the biggest merger in the building society sector since Nationwide took over Portman three years ago.

Chelsea Building Society made a loss in its last financial year and the first half of this year. It was heavily exposed to the banking collapse in Iceland, which has since raised questions over the strength of the mutual.

Should the deal come to fruition, it would bring further consolidation within the sector.

Scotland’s Dunfermline Building Society was hastily taken over by Nationwide at the end of March.

Furthermore, Cheshire and Derbyshire building societies have been swallowed up by Nationwide, while Britannia Building Society has merged with Co-operative Financial Services.

In June, West Bromwich Building Society agreed a deal that saw the 160-year-old institution saved from collapse.

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News posted: December 1, 2009

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