HBOS and St George rumour a dud

The possibility of HBOS making a bid for St George Bank – as rumoured on Thursday – may be remote. HBOS paid about 12 times earnings to take control of BankWest two years ago, but has baulked at more expensive bank takeovers on offer in the UK (such as Abbey National). This means takeover activity in the bank sector over the next year may be confined to the minnows. Credit Union Australia and Australian National Credit Union want to merge. Mackay Permanent Building Society is trying a hostile takeover of Capricornia Credit Union. Home Building Society and StateWest Credit Society also plan to merge.

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