Co-op confirms second-round bid for Lloyds' branches
The Co-operative Group has confirmed it will submit a second-round bid next week for the hundreds of branches being sold by Lloyds Banking Group.
Lloyds is selling 632 branches and £36bn of deposits, after being ordered to by the European Commission following the bank's rescue by the UK government.
The government currently still holds a 41% stake in Lloyds.
BBC business editor Robert Peston said so far Lloyds had received only one bid, of about £1.5bn, from NBNK.
NBNK was co-founded by Lord Levene, chairman of insurer Lloyd's of London, in 2010 as a business set up to establish a UK retail bank.
The bid from the Co-op came in the same week as LLoyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio decided to take a temporary leave of absence, to recover from exhaustion.
Co-op chief executive Peter Marks said: "We have a clear strategy for driving the Co-operative Group forwards. As part of this we remain interested in the Lloyds Banking Group's branch assets as we believe this would support our moves to grow our relationship banking business in the UK.
"Our bid for the assets is non-binding and we would only proceed if we could reach an agreement that was in the interests of our members and other stakeholders."