Abbey National: company profile

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- Abbey National -

History | Business areas

i. History

Abbey’s origins date back to 1849 and 1874 when the National Freehold Land and Building Society and The Abbey Road & St. John's Wood Permanent Benefit Building Society were formed. Both merged in 1944 and in 1989 Abbey became a public limited company and floated on the London Stock Exchange.

ii. Business Areas

Abbey, UK’s sixth largest bank, had shareholders’ funds (including non equity interests) of £5.3 billion and total assets of £177.0 billion as of December 31, 2003. For the financial year ended 31 December 2003, Abbey Personal Financial Services reported trading profit before tax of £1.0 billion and the Group reported net attributable losses of £0.7 billion. Abbey employed more than 26,000 people and had 740 UK branches and 17.8 million customers. Abbey two main business divisions were Personal Financial Services and the Portfolio Business Unit.

Personal Financial Services

  • UK Retail Banking: Provides residential mortgages (2nd largest provider in the UK), savings products, personal banking services, travelers' cheques, foreign currency and general insurance.
  • Wholesale Banking is responsible for the liquidity and capital management activities of the bank; it also incorporates Abbey’s financial products and short term markets businesses.
  • Business to Business develops Abbey’s business relationship with intermediaries and generates further opportunities with small and medium sized enterprises and in workplace marketing.

Portfolio Business Unit

The Portfolio Business Unit manages businesses that are not consistent with Abbey’s Personal Financial Services strategy. Abbey’s intention is to reduce or exit these businesses whilst focusing on getting optimum value to ensure that returns for shareholders are maximized and risk is reduced in a timely manner.

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