Alliance & Leicester
|Former type||Subsidiary/Trading name|
|Fate||Renamed under parent brand|
|Successor(s)||Santander UK Plc|
|Headquarters||Narborough, Leicestershire, UK|
Alliance & Leicester was a UK-based bank and PLC, which in later years operated as a trading name of Santander UK before being rebranded as Santander. Alliance & Leicester was legally acquired in May 2010 by Santander UK, and was fully incorporated by 2011. Although all branches now carry the Santander name, its international arm based in Douglas, Isle of Man retains the Alliance & Leicester name and operates as a subsidiary of Santander UK.
Formed in 1985 through a merger of the Alliance Building Society and the Leicester Building Society, Alliance & Leicester became a bank in 1997 when it was floated on the London Stock Exchange. It was formerly listed in the FTSE 250 Index, having been a FTSE 100 constituent from April 1997 to June 2008.
Early history 
The former building society was formed by the merger of the Alliance Building Society (originally based in and called the Brighton & Sussex) and the Leicester Building Society on 1 October 1985. In 1990, the society acquired Girobank, a major provider of cash-handling services to the government and large companies and current accounts, from the Post Office. With other large building societies such as Halifax and Woolwich, Alliance & Leicester decided to float on the London Stock Exchange, generating windfall payments to members worth up to £5,000 each. Flotation took place on 21 April 1997.
On 14 July 2008 the board of A&L recommended that shareholders accept a takeover bid from Banco Santander for around £1.26 billion. This recommendation was ratified by shareholders at meetings on 16 September 2008. The takeover took effect on 10 October 2008 when shares of the company were delisted from the London Stock Exchange.
|Wikinews has related news: Spain based Santander agrees purchase of UK bank Alliance & Leicester|
The bank transferred its business into Santander UK on 28 May 2010 following a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice on 13 May 2010 as part of the procedure within the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Until this time Alliance & Leicester was as a separate institution with its own banking licence while at the same time migrating customer accounts to the Partenon software system. Abbey and the Bradford & Bingley savings business were rebranded in January 2010. Branches of Alliance & Leicester were rebranded at the end of 2010.
The Santander Group provides general insurance, life assurance, unit trusts, personal current accounts and credit cards, asset financing and commercial lending. Its main retail business is in the United Kingdom concentrating on mortgage loans, current accounts, savings and personal loans. The Group is also endeavouring to expand its commercial operations through Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank.
A&L provided retail credit cards through a partnership with MBNA until it was bought by the Santander Group. Cards were subsequently reissued with MBNA branding, while Alliance & Leicester began solely providing Santander branded credit cards, provided by Santander Cards Limited. Selected investment products were also provided, together with those from Legal & General, which the bank had a partnership with.
- Santander's decision to rename Alliance & Leicester 'disappointing' This is Business - East Midlands. 28 May 2009
- "Santander scraps UK bank brands". BBC News. 27 May 2009. Archived from the original on 29 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- Early history section of company website
- Alliance & Leicester lines up for flotation
- "A&L shareholders approve takeover". BBC News. 16 September 2008. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- "Alliance & Leicester PLC (UK): Scheme Of Arrangement". FTSE Group. 8 October 2008. Archived from the original on 16 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
- Alliance & Leicester plc proposed transfer to Santander UK plc Alliance & Leicester plc/Santander UK plc joint press release
- "Santander blazes a brand trail through the high street with its flame logo". Jill Treanor, The Guardian (London). 27 May 2009. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
- Santander rebrands Abbey and Bradford & Bingley BBC News Online. 11 January 2010
- Alliance & Leicester - Credit Cards - Important Information Alliance & Leicester plc
- Alliance & Leicester Credit Card: Help MBNA