PM: Reforms making 'safer and stronger' finance sector

The Prime Minister's spokesman has said that Co-operative Group's decision not to buy more than 600 branches from Lloyds was a matter for the two companies.

But on the wider point of banking reform, he told me:

I think that there are reforms in thefinancial arena that have made the UK financial sector safer and stronger and anumber of measures are benefitting consumers including through choice.

– prime minister's spokesman

The Co-op reportedly cited regulatory requirements as one of the reasons for the collapse of the deal.

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Lloyds branches sale called off

The sale of 632 Lloyds Banking Group branches to the Co-operative Group has collapsed. The financial institution, which is 43% owned by the taxpayer, was forced to sell them by European regulators.