Clydesdale and Yorkshire set for £2bn float

The Australian banking group’s chief executive Andrew Thornburn recently said that pulling out of the UK is “an absolute priority”, adding that “the group will examine a broader range of options, including those provided by public markets, to accelerate an exit from UK banking”.

NAB plans to make this a reality with the appointment of investment bank Morgan Stanley, while other banks are expected to join the advisory lineup in the coming weeks with Macquarie, Credit Suisse and Bank of America Merrill Lynch being touted as favourites.

The group reported a 1.1% drop in yearly profits to £2.9bn last month, with its performance being hindered by £823m in one-off charges covering mis-sold PPI and interest rate hedging products sold to small businesses.

NAB, which bought Clydesdale in 1987 and Yorkshire Bank three years later, axed 1,400 jobs in 2012 and got rid of £5.6bn commercial real estate loans.

Several other banks looking to float on the stock exchange have seen their plans thwarted recently, as challenger bank Aldermore cancelled its plans for a £900m floatation in October while Virgin Money postponed its £2bn listing until stock market conditions improved.

Yorkshire and Clydesdale currently have 2.7 million customers and 330 branches.