A PYMNTS Company

UK: MasterCard said to plan £1bn VocaLink takeover bid

 |  March 3, 2016

MasterCard has drawn up secret plans for a takeover of VocaLink, the bank-owned company which handles £6tn-worth of payments in Britain each year.

Sky News has learnt that MasterCard, which is one of the world’s biggest credit card issuers, has approached the board of VocaLink about a deal that could be worth more than £1bn.

News of the approach from MasterCard comes just days after the new payments industry regulator said that the current ownership structure of VocaLink was “hampering competition and the speed of innovation in the market”.

More than 90% of all salary payments, and virtually all state benefits are processed using VocaLink, which delivers the Faster Payments Service and the Bacs service which collectively underpin billions of payments.

The company is owned by 17 of Britain’s biggest high street lenders, with the biggest stakes held by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.

MasterCard’s interest in acquiring VocaLink is understood to have been expressed prior to the Payment Systems Regulator’s remarks last week.

Full content: Digital Look

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.