Sainsbury’s ‘in talks’ to sell banking arm

Sainsbury’s is reportedly in advanced talks to offload its banking division to US-based private equity firm Centerbridge Partners.

The move, first reported by Sky News, comes almost a year after the supermarket retailer launched an auction for the banking arm.

The news website said that the deal is expected in the coming weeks and could be worth around £200 million.

A source close to Sainsbury’s said that although talks are close to an agreement, they could still potentially fall apart.

Sainsbury’s Bank, which offers a number of services including home insurance and credit cards, currently has around two million UK customers.

The bank dropped out of the mortgage market two years ago.

Centerbridge Partners, an experienced investor in the banking industry, is headquartered in New York but also has an office in London.

According to Sky News, the firm is expected to use the purchase as a platform to buy other UK banking operations.

As part of a consortium, in 2015 the company tried to buy Williams & Glyn, a branch network that Royal Bank of Scotland was forced to sell under European state aid rules.

In the end the deal failed due to technology issues at the bank.

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