NatWest to Acquire Sainsbury’s Banking Operations

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NatWest is set to acquire the primary banking operations of Sainsbury’s, marking the supermarket chain’s exit from the financial sector to concentrate on its food business.

The deal includes Sainsbury’s Bank’s credit cards, loans, and savings accounts, but excludes the Sainsbury’s Bank brand, cash machines, insurance, and travel money services. Sainsbury’s assured customers that there will be no immediate changes, and no action is required from them.

Sainsbury’s has committed to a consultation process to redeploy employees at risk of job loss, though NatWest is not automatically inheriting these employees. A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman stated that both parties are dedicated to exploring employment opportunities within NatWest, but the number of affected employees was not disclosed.

NatWest will acquire approximately one million customer accounts through this deal, expected to be finalised by the end of March next year. The acquisition includes £1.4 billion in unsecured personal loans, £1.1 billion in credit card balances, and £2.6 billion in customer deposits.

Sainsbury’s Bank was initially a joint venture with the Bank of Scotland in 1997, with Sainsbury’s taking full ownership in 2014. However, in January, Sainsbury’s announced plans to wind down its banking operations to focus on its core food retail business.

This move follows a similar exit by Tesco from the banking sector. In February, Tesco sold its retail banking operations to Barclays for £600 million. Barclays acquired Tesco Bank’s credit cards, loans, and savings accounts and agreed to market Tesco-branded banking services.

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