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    TSB could be sold in wake of Spanish banking merger collapse

    TSB's Spanish owner could sell the challenger bank after its merger talks with Spanish rival BBVA collapsed. Sabadell, one of Spain's biggest banks, said it was eyeing up "strategic alternatives" for some of its international assets, including TSB which it bought for £1.7bn in 2015. It made the announcement after failing to agree a price for a merger with Spanish rival BBVA, discussions which only emerged last week. Analysts said at the time that if Sabadell and BBVA tied-up it could lead to an "acceleration of a TSB sale process". TSB, which was spun off by Lloyds in 2013, had hoped to break the dominance of Britain's biggest banks such as NatWest, Barclays and HSBC when Sabadell took it on. However, any attempts to challenge the high street giants were badly damaged by a botched computer upgrade in 2018 that affected millions of customers, earned it the nickname "Totally Shambolic Bank" and cost former chief Paul Pester his job. An investigation into the matter accused the bank of inadequate preparation and a failure of common sense. Banking mergers have been rare in recent years as integration in the sector is complicated and risky. Low interest rates and the coronavirus pandemic have piled fresh pressure onto Europe's banking industry and could trigger the long-awaited wave of consolidation. Speculation that Sabadell might look to sell TSB has been on the cards for years, although the bank did not say exactly what options it was considering for the lender on Friday. A TSB spokesman said the bank had completed the first year of its growth strategy and improved its digital banking. Shares in Sabadell fell 13pc in Madrid, while BBVA rose 2.5pc.