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Date Is Set For Abbey National And Cater Allen Merger

Mandy Robinson, Tax-news.com, London

07 February 2001

When it became part of the Abbey National Group in 1997, the Cater Allen Offshore Bank continued to operate under its own name through separate legal entities. This is set to change from March 1, 2001, when Abbey National Offshore will merge with the banking business of Cater Allen, creating a single entity and name. The new entity will trade as Abbey National Offshore from that date.

Director of Abbey National Offshore, David Robbie, confirmed: 'During the past three and a half years we have been managing the two businesses side by side. We are continuing to invest significantly in systems, telecommunications facilities and staff to ensure that we continue to provide a high level of personal service.'

He continued: 'The research conducted over the last six months has confirmed the strengths and highlighted opportunities for our business to move forward. It has also revealed the enormous similarities between Cater Allen Offshore and Abbey National Offshore customers and their day-to-day banking requirements.'

Cater Allen was founded over 200 years ago and has offshore centres based in Jersey and the Isle of Man. Abbey National Offshore is one of the largest and most successful offshore financial institutions with services tailored to the needs of offshore investors. Headquartered in Jersey, the bank has branches in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Portugal, Dubai and Hong Kong.

Abbey National says the merger was decided after it performed a strategic review of its business including a programme of research with Cater Allen customers. The review sought customers' views on products offered and service expectations.

The merger of operations is expected to go smoothly with no inconvenience for the customers of both banks. Mr Robbie added: 'It makes sense for both our customers and ourselves to merge the product ranges and offer all banking services under the one name. Customers can be assured that the full and unconditional guarantee of all deposits by Abbey National plc remains in place. We have written to each of our banking customers explaining these changes and have made additional arrangements to answer any queries they may have.'

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