Speculation mounts as to the high profile buyer of Norwich & Peterborough Building Society

When one thinks of financial centres around the world, the mind doesn’t automatically jump to the city of Peterborough.

However, since December when the Financial Services Compensation Scheme ruled that Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) could be liable for compensation to its customers for mis-sold advice on investments in Keydata, suddenly Peterborough and N&P are the next big thing in terms of being a potential takeover target for a number of substantial players in the financial services community.

Names such as Virgin Money, The Co-operative, Yorkshire Building Society and the Leeds Building Society are all said to be circling and thinking about a possible bid. Naturally the set wouldn’t be complete without a PE firm in there as well, and the entrant from this side of the equation is said to have been JC Flowers, the US-based firm, which has specialised in investing in banking and financial institutions over the last few years.

N&P has just under 500,000 members and 45 branches and whilst all parties are currently confirming nothing, you would have to see this acquisition as a potential springboard for any one of the companies linked so far to N&P, from which to launch an acquisition attempt on Northern Rock, the nationalised UK bank which has been linked with being taken back into the private domain.

So watch this space – Peterborough might just become the home of the next big financial deal in the UK.

Filed under: dealmaking, UK, Banking