NAB is looking for acquisition targets abroad and is already gearing up for the takeover of UK banking establishment Northern Rock.
According to a report in The Guardian, NAB has been holding a ‘beauty parade’ of investment banks to advise it on an auction of the nationalised lender in the new year.
NAB, which already owns Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks in the UK, is understood to have hosted presentations by Lazard, Citigroup, CSFB and Morgan Stanley as it prepares for opportunities that will follow a radical shake-up of the British banking sector this year.
The UK government plans to split Northern Rock into a ‘good bank’ and a ‘bad bank’.
The ‘good bank’, which is expected to include deposits of £20bn ($36 billion) and a portfolio of low-risk mortgages, is being targeted by NAB.
However, NAB faces stiff competition from Richard Branson’s Virgin Money which has also entered the race for Northern Rock.
Branson almost bought the bank back in 2008 before it was nationalised. He has already applied to the FSA for a banking licence to sell current accounts and mortgages and gain a high-street presence.