The sale of 632 Lloyds Banking Group branches has suffered a set-back after the Co-operative Bank announced it was pulling out of a planned deal with the state-owned bank.
The Co-op confirmed that talks had collapsed between the two companies, stating that it "was not in the best interests" of its members and could no longer proceed with the planned deal.
The purchasing of the Lloyds branches would have boosted the Co-op's high street network to 974, and was hoped by the Government to provide some diverse competition within the retail banking market, aside from the 'big six' banks.
All 632 Lloyds branches must be sold by November this year under orders by European regulators, in return for being bailed out by the Government in 2008.
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