head of the Spanish bank Santander
Central Hispano, which is planning a £8bn takeover of Abbey, is expected to
announce that up to 4,500 jobs could be cut over three years.
Emilio Botin will try to
reassure unions that this is an absolute ceiling on redundancies and is likely
to compare such cuts with the 9,000 losses which are feared if HBOS launches a
successful counter-bid for the bank.
does not have a branch network in the UK
and is seeking efficiencies through IT systems. It is understood to believe
that job cuts would be less than half those feared under an HBOS takeover.
to newspaper reports, such information is likely to be analysed by the
competition authorities should HBOS decide to bid for its closest rival. Halifax
is the country’s number one mortgage lender while Abbey is the second largest.
has insisted it will try to launch a ‘stakeholder-friendly’ offer and may
produce statistics showing the combined Halifax
and Bank of Scotland employs more people, not less, than they did separately.