Yorkshire Bank and its sister Clydesdale are to be floated on the London Stock Exchange after a decision by parent company National Australia Bank (NAB) to exit the UK.
The two banks will be demerged from NAB and listed by the end of the year.
The news coincided with plans to close 19 branches this year including Blackpool Central, Colne, Driffield, Stalybridge, Featherstone, Glasgow Springburn, Denny, Kettering, Kilwinning, South Bank, Dundee Downfield, Elland, Helensburgh, Barnsley New Street, Forres, Altrincham, Dollar, Hamilton Cadzow Street and Leeds York Road.
Between 70 and 80 per cent of the banks’ shares will transfer to existing NAB shareholders and the remaining 20 to 30 per cent will be offered to institutional investors.
The news follows years of uncertainty about the banks’ future as Australian investors have become increasingly irritated by the racking up of charges for misconduct and mis-selling.
The decision to float follows failed attempts to find a buyer for Yorkshire and Clydesdale.
NAB also announced half year results which showed its UK pre-tax cash earnings rose 33 per cent to £118m in the six months to March 31.
The charge for bad and doubtful debts fell £31m to £24m.
Debbie Crosbie, acting chief executive, said: “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of an exciting new opportunity for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks. Our performance is improving and we’re providing real customer choice in the UK which is driving encouraging growth across our target retail and SME markets.”