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Inquiry into Project Verde set to begin 13 June 2013

An inquiry into the collapsed deal for the Co-operative Bank to buy hundreds of Lloyds Banking Group’s branches under Project Verde is to begin on Tuesday.

The Treasury Committee announced today that it is to inquire into the required divestment of 632 branches of Lloyds Banking Group.

The initial evidence session will take place on Tuesday (18 June) with António Horta-Osório, group chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group and Sir Winfried Bischoff, chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, appearing before the committee.

Commenting on the announcement of the inquiry, the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Andrew Tyrie MP, said: “This divestment should be an important opportunity to boost competition in the UK retail banking market. It could have significant benefits for consumers.

“We will want to know how The Co-operative Bank’s bid was allowed to progress to such an advanced stage, why it collapsed and what will now happen to these branches and their customers.”

The Co-operative Group pulled the plug on its plan to buy 632 Lloyds Banking Group branches in April.

With the Co-operative concerned about the economic environment, the mutual said it would not be in the best interests of the group’s members to proceed with the deal at that time.

Peter Marks, group chief executive of the Co-operative Group, said that, having given detailed and thorough consideration of all aspects of the transaction, the group has decided to halt the deal.



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