Santander Won't Compete for RBS SME Business on Brexit Concern

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Banco Santander SA withdrew from bidding for some of the small-and-medium-sized lending business of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc because of concern about Brexit.

Santander has “come to the conclusion that given the regulatory environment in the U.K. and the current economic and political uncertainty it is better for us to retain flexibility and continue to pursue our own strategy independently,” the lender said in an emailed statement.

Santander, Spain’s biggest bank, said last May it intended to apply for a slice of the 775 million pounds ($1 billion) of funds that RBS agreed to make available to stimulate competition in the U.K. SME lending market. Britain accounted for 14 percent of Santander’s nine-month earnings, making it the third-biggest contributor to profit, behind Brazil and Spain.

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