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RBS branch sale to Santander falls through

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Another embarrassing blow for the 81%-state owned bank as deal to sell 316 Royal Bank of Scotland branches collapses

A deal to sell 316 Royal Bank of Scotland branches to Santander dramatically collapsed on Friday night in the latest embarrassing blow for the 81%-state owned bank.

The £1.65bn sale of the branches to the UK arm of the Spanish bank was announced more than two years ago but has been repeatedly delayed by the logistical challenges of integrating two separate bank systems.

The European Union had ordered RBS to offload the branches by the end of 2013 as a condition of the £45bn of state aid the UK government pumped into the bank to stave off its collapse at the height of the financial crisis.

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Another one nobody wants?

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