The National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced strong profits for the last three months of 2011, but said the struggling UK economy was adversely affecting UK banking.
"It is clear that the UK economy is likely to experience a much longer period of subdued growth with the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone and the continuing austerity program by the UK government," said Cameron Clyne, chief executive of NAB.
The Australian owner has commenced a strategic review of its UK operation and will look to reposition the banks and improve returns.
Companies often conduct a strategic review into parts of their businesses which they are looking to sell off.
Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks employ around 8,500 in the UK and run 300 branches.
David Thorburn, chief executive of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, said that it is the right time to re-examine the business but reassured customers that their branch network would continue to be supported.
"We will continue to support our branch network and invest in developing online and telephone banking services for both retail and business customers," he commented.
"We will also remain committed to providing support for savers and mortgage customers across the UK .
"Although reshaping the business will mean that we will have to take tough decisions, we are confident that the outcome will provide a strong and sustainable future for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks."
NAB said it expected to reveal the outcome of its review by May.
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