One of Canada's biggest banks has stepped up its pursuit of Royal Bank of Scotland's American retail bank Citizens, it was reported today.
Citizens, which is worth around £8 billion, is currently scheduled for a stock market float in 2015 as part of RBS's current strategy.
With Mr Osborne expected to reveal whether he intends to press ahead with a split in the next few weeks, some analysts believe there is little chance RBS will be allowed to continue in its current form.
Citizens is one of the biggest banks in the wealthy northeast region of the United States. It has about £60 billion of deposits and 1,400 branches.
However it could be transformational for one of the country's second-tier banks, with US Bancorp and PNC among those thought to be looking at a bid.
Bharat Masrani, TD's chief executive elect, reportedly made guarded comments about the bank's interest in Citizens at a banking conference last month. His remarks implied that an informal approach may have already been rebuffed.