Commission clears acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotland assets by Banco Santander

The decision taken by the European Commission will allow to complete the operation by which the Spanish Banco Santander will acquire a series of retail and commercial banking assets of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in the United Kingdom. After analysing the proposal for acquisition, the Commission concluded that such operation would not damage competition within the European Economic Area.

The previous analysis made by the European Commission regarding the operation for acquisition of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) [LON:RBS] banking assets by Spanish Banco Santander [MCE:SAN], was specially focused in examining the potential consequences of such operation on the markets for personal current accounts, mortgages, card-based consumer credit and cash handling services. Commission's services concluded that this would not be the case, based on the relatively limited presence of Banco Santander in UK commercial banking market.

The operation authorised by the European Commission relates to the so-called Rainbow assets held by the Royal Bank of Scotland and, more precisely, to the acquisition by Banco Santander of RBS' branch-related retail and small and medium sized-enterprise (SME) business in England and Wales, the NatWest branch-related retail and SME business in Scotland, as well as certain mid-corporate customer accounts in the UK.

These assets were offered by the Royal Bank of Scotland in the context of a Commission's investigation concerning state aids granted to RBS. However, despite the acquisition has been cleared, the Commission has underlined that this decision will not affect RBS' obligations under the state aid procedure.