HBOS in merger talks with Lloyds

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Lloyds TSB is in advanced merger talks with HBOS to create a UK retail banking giant, the BBC has learned. The deal would end uncertainty about the strength of HBOS following the calamitous run on its shares. The valuation of HBOS shares would be closer to last week's closing price of 300 pence rather than their current level of around 100p.
Both HBOS and Lloyds declined to comment on the news, broken by BBC Business
Editor Robert Peston. The advanced talks are being encouraged by both the
Treasury and Financial Services Authority (FSA), Mr Peston added.
Authorities are keen to support the proposed takeover as it will ease
concerns about the health of the UK banking sector.
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