Halifax and BoS merger mystery

As Halifax shareholders congregated in Edinburgh for the bank’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, the two sides remained locked in negotiations over issues such as the location of the new company?s headquarters.

Any move in location could affect head office financial staff for both organisations.

Both sides were reportedly keen to agree terms for the nil-premium merger as early as next week. While it appeared the issue of who would be chief executive of the combined bank had been settled, the futures of the two financial directors had yet to be agreed.

It is believed a provisional list of executives drawn up by Cazenove and Lazard, advisers to the banks, includes BoS’s FD but not that of the Halifax.

The Scottish-trained Gordon McQueen, BoS’s chief executive of treasury and finance, joined the bank in 1976, and the board of directors in May last year.

Halifax’s FD, Roger Boyes, came on board in 1995 when the Leeds Permanent Building Society merged with the Halifax.

Boyes’ pay packet for last year totalled £377,000 plus pension entitlements.The future for the auditors of the two banks, however, did appear straightforward.

KPMG is currently auditor for both sides, but is not involved in the deal itself at the moment.

Last year, the Big Five firm earned £2m in audit fees and £4m in non-audit fees from the Halifax. At the same time the Bank of Scotland paid £1m to KPMG for audit work and £2.7m for non-audit activities.


Halifax’s website

Bank of Scotland’s website

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