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We’ll open all hours, vows bidder for Lloyds

A bidder for more than 600 Lloyds' branches has said it will allow managers to choose their opening hours as part of a drive for “local decision making” .

NBNK is one of the front-runners in the auction of 632 outlets being sold by Lloyds.

If the takeover bid is successful, Gary Hoffman, the banker who was brought in to rescue Northern Rock before moving to head up NBNK last year, pledged to bring about change for the estate's five and a half million customers.

He said they will be able to visit their local branch as late as 9.30pm in the run up to Christmas, with banks sharing similar opening hours to shops.

“Every other bank in the UK is arranged around products. We'll be arranged around customers and geography,” he told the Times.

Lloyds is being forced to offload the branches as a penalty for the state aid it received in 2008.

NBNK faces opposition from the Co-operative Group which is also bidding for the Lloyds' branches. The Lloyds board is reportedly due to meet on December 15 to determine a preferred bidder and an announcement is expected before Christmas.

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