Scotland business

Shareholders back Clydesdale Bank demerger

Clydesdale Bank in London Image copyright Clydesdale Bank

Shareholders in National Australia Bank have voted overwhelmingly in favour of offloading its Clydesdale Bank arm.

More than 97% of shareholders backed the demerger and partial float of its UK business.

The Australian bank can now move ahead with plans to demerge 75% of Clydesdale to its shareholders next week.

The remaining shares will be sold to institutional investors via an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange.

Last week National Australia Bank (NAB) valued the Clydesdale Bank at between £1.5bn and £2bn ahead of its proposed flotation.

Clydesdale, which also operates Yorkshire Bank, recently reported that trading in the three months to December was in line with expectations.

NAB, which bought the business in 1987, said it planned to quit the 177-year-old Scottish bank in 2014 after facing a consumer backlash over methods used to sell loan insurance.

Clydesdale shares are due to be listed on the London Stock Exchange on 2 February after final pricing on the same day.

The Australian lender has said it may choose not to proceed with an IPO or proceed with a smaller offering, in which case it would retain some ownership in the bank.

Australia's major banks are seeking to raise cash by issuing shares and selling non-core business units after new rules required them to have a greater amount of cash in reserve as a buffer for their loan books.

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