Saturday, 29 November 2008




SNP MSP Alex Neil, who has led the campaign at Holyrood against the Lloyds TSB merger with HBOS today welcomed news of a legal challenge to the UK Government’s failure to refer the merger to the Competition Commission.
The Merger Action Group have lodged an appeal at the Competition Appeals Tribunal regarding the decision of Lord Mandleson not to involve the Competition Commission despite the Office of Fair Trading reporting the merger would have a significant impact on the market for mortgages, business and personal accounts in Scotland and the UK.

SNP MSP Alex Neil said;
“This is a serious case for the Competition Appeals Tribunal and is their chance to show that riding roughshod over competition law to keep the Prime Minister happy is not acceptable.
“Throughout this merger Labour has gone out of its way to see that no other deal could be put forward and that no alternative was ever offered to HBOS. That is something that must be looked into.
“The UK Government and the Labour party may be happy to roll over and see competition in Scotland’s banking sector destroyed but I am not and I welcome the efforts of the Merger Action Group to prevent it.
“With the UK Government increasing its financial support to RBS to keep it on the road as an independent bank there is absolutely no reason for this merger to go ahead.
“HBOS requires little additional recapitalisation to remain as an independent bank avoiding horrific job losses across Scotland and the UK.
“With so many questions over this merger and the considerable damage it will do to competition this legal bid should win support from business, savers and investors across Scotland.”

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