Clydesdale Bank shrugs off IPO delay

Clydesdale Bank chief executive David Duffy

Investors welcomed the commencement of public trading of the owner of Clydesdale Bank yesterday after bosses brushed off a brief delay over credit rating concerns.

Shares in Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG) closed 5% up to 192p last night after its debut on the London Stock Exchange yesterday morning. Volatile financial markets had seen it come into the market at 180p – the lower end of a range offered to investors in the run up to the flotation.

David Duffy, the bank’s chief executive hailed a “landmark day” for the newly independent UK challener bank, after its owner National Australia Bank (NAB) demerged its UK business. Critics of the Australian owners have been unhappy with multiple writedowns, capital infusions and losses at the UK unit, which NAB acquired in 1987.

The flotation had been delayed by a day after an unnamed ratings agency had raised questions about a tranche of the bank’s secured funding balances.

But Ian Smith, the bank’s chief Finance Officer dismissed the concerns as “perfectly manageable, practically a non-issue”.

Mr Smith, a former partner with Deloitte who lives in Kinross, added.

“In an environment where you are asking people to make an investment, you owe it to them share all pertinent information to them and they were very comfortable with it.

“The bank has an investment grade rating from three rating agencies. There’s no issue over any of that.”

Mr Duffy said that the decision to delay the IP marked a new level of trust between banks and shareholders that marked a change for relations in a sector that have been tarnished since the banking crisis.

“We postponed it for a day and give our shareholders absolutely a chance to have an open discussion about it make sure they are comfortable before proceeding
Every single one of them made the comment that this was very good to see in the prospective new relationship that we had done that
“We are very confident in the register so we didn’t have any concerns about delaying it 24 hours.

“We said this was about re-setting the company and shareholder relationship, and you should trust us we will always be transparent and open
“This is a good example of it.”

The CYGB IPO comprised an offer a 25% stake in CYBG by NAB. At the same time, a demerger of National Australia Bank’s remaining 75% stake in CYBG is being effected through a distribution of shares to the parent’s own shareholders.

“We are pleased with the response from institutional investors to the IPO, including from NAB shareholders, despite the recent significant market volatility,” NAB Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Thorburn said.