UK – Citing market consolidation and increased price competition, National Australia Bank’s National Custodian Services is to transfer its UK clients to the Bank of New York - with the loss of 140 jobs.

NAB said in a statement that it plans to close its National Custodian Services’ UK operations and has reached an agreement to transfer its clients to the Bank of New York, subject to the approval of clients.

It said the agreement does not involve a transfer of business infrastructure or a legal entity. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Glasgow-based NCS provides custody, trustee and depositary and fund administration for institutional clients. The Bank of New York is NCS’s global custodian for offshore assets.

“The National is a market leader for custody and investment administration services in Australia and New Zealand, and will continue to offer a full range of security services in those markets,” said Ray Lester, head of NCS UK.

“However within the UK, ongoing market consolidation and increased price competition mean that we would be unable to remain profitable in this business in the UK in the long term.

“We are contacting our UK clients today to inform them of this decision and to organise meetings to introduce them to the Bank of New York and to outline the proposed process.” The transfer is expected over a six-month period.

Lester said employees were being informed of the decision, with meetings to be held with staff and the union. The deal won’t affect the National’s other European operations.

Tim Keaney, head of Europe at the Bank of New York, said: “We are looking forward to working with our new clients and are confident of providing a seamless transition and a high quality service.”

Meanwhile, the Co-operative Insurance Society, has said that 2,500 jobs would be lost in a restructuring over the next two years. The CIS said it was responding to substantial changes in the market to ensure its future profitability.