Abbey National to review private equity

Abbey National Wholesale banking is reported to be undertaking a review of its operations which could lead to a reduction in its PE business.

Abbey National, the UK’s sixth-largest bank is looking at options at its private equity business which might see the firm dispose of its private equity operations.

A report in the Financial Times quotes Mark Pain, managing director of the wholesale banking division, saying he is ‘looking pretty hard’ at the firm’s private equity operations. One of the options under consideration for the firm is to pool its private equity investments into a single fund and invite outside investors to acquire a stake.   

Abbey National’s private equity business has to date invested £700m across a range of 70 third-party funds in the past few years. The intention was for this to be an initial investment to help the bank gain expertise before pumping in further money, but it is now considering a staged retreat.