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Bradford&Bingley PLC (BB.)

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Monday 22 September, 2003

Bradford&Bingley PLC


Bradford & Bingley PLC
22 September 2003

                                                               22 September 2003



Bradford & Bingley Plc today announces that it has agreed to acquire The
Aitchison & Colegrave Group Ltd, the leading privately owned IFA in Scotland.
This follows the acquisition of Holden Meehan in June 2003 and further
accelerates the Group's strategy of building a high quality comprehensive
financial planning proposition in the mid to high net worth market,
complementing its high street presence through The MarketPlace brand. Completion
of the deal is subject to regulatory approval.

With four offices and twenty advisers, Aitchison & Colegrave focuses on
financial planning for corporate and individual customers. In the year ending 31
July 2002, Aitchison & Colegrave had a turnover of £4.1million and net assets of
£2.5 million.

Upon completion, Aitchison & Colegrave will be rebranded Charcol Aitchison &
Colegrave. Its current management will remain within the business, playing an
important role in developing the Charcol financial planning capability. The
addition of Aitchison & Colegrave and Holden Meehan to the Charcol stable builds
on Charcol's current position as the UK's leading mortgage IFA, increasing both
the range of services it offers to clients and its ability to attract new

Commenting on the acquisition, Christopher Rodrigues, Group CEO, said

"This latest IFA acquisition brings further financial planning skills to our
Charcol business and creates immediate scale in the Scottish market,
complementing the presence of Charcol Holden Meehan in Bristol and London. This
is another step towards achieving our ambition of making Charcol one of the
country's leading financial planning brands ahead of regulatory change."

Bradford & Bingley is currently the UK's largest IFA through its two brands; The
MarketPlace and Charcol.


For further information:
Press Office:
Siobhan Hotten                                Andrew Grant
Bradford & Bingley plc                        Tulchan Communications Limited
Tel:     020 7067 5627                        Tel:     020 7353 4200
Fax:     020 7067 5656                        Fax:     020 7353 4201
Email:           Email:     B&

Investor Relations:
Phillip McLelland                             Kirsty Macmaster
Bradford & Bingley plc
Tel:      01274 806112                        Macmaster & Company
Fax:      01274 554357                        Tel:     020 7493 9500
Email:        Fax:     020 7493 9600

Notes to Editors


  • The Aitchison & Colegrave Group was formed in 1983 and operates from four
    branches in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and London. The Aitchison &
    Colegrave Group is now the largest privately owned IFA in Scotland and is
    currently rated in the top 50 in the United Kingdom. (Source: Financial
    Adviser, October 2002)

  • The Aitchison & Colegrave Group provides a wide range of investment, tax
    shelter and financial planning services for individuals, partnerships, and
    companies. Although its services are primarily geared towards private
    clients and small companies, it is also retained by a number of leading UK
    and multinational companies to provide a range of "in-house" services for
    directors, management and employees. The Aitchison & Colegrave Group also
    operates a "Professional Advisers Division" to cater for the specialist
    requirements of accountants and solicitors.
  • The Aitchison & Colegrave Group became the very first Independent
    Financial Adviser in Scotland to be awarded the prestigious Investor In
    People accreditation in recognition of the importance it places on adviser
    training and development.


  • Bradford & Bingley offers independent advice on mortgages, investments,
    pensions and insurance under The MarketPlace and Charcol brands.

  • Bradford & Bingley manufactures savings products and focuses its own
    mortgage lending on specialist loans via its Mortgage Express subsidiary.

  • The group has national distribution through a range of channels including
    over 500 branches, online services, over 1,000 financial advisers and a
    number of third party distributors.

  • The Bradford & Bingley Group has over 7,500 staff.

  • Bradford & Bingley floated on 4th December 2000 and has over 1.5 million
    private shareholders.

  • Prior to floatation Bradford & Bingley was the UK's second largest
    building society, formed in 1964 from the merger of the Bradford Equitable
    and the Bingley Building Society, both originally formed in 1851.

  • As part of its strategy to concentrate on providing independent financial
    advice on a broad range of financial products, Bradford & Bingley acquired
    independent mortgage broker John Charcol in February 2000, including the
    UK's largest online mortgage broker, Charcolonline.

  • Bradford & Bingley owns Mortgage Express which specialises in buy-to-let
    and investment mortgages. It acquired the Mortgage Express business in May
    1997. The acquisition also gave the Society access to securitisation
    expertise and a strong lending brand in the intermediary sector.

  • Bradford & Bingley is also the UK's fourth largest estate agency having
    acquired Black Horse Agencies from Lloyds TSB in April 1998. Strong local
    estate agency brands were retained within an overall branding of Bradford &
    Bingley Estate Agents. The Group offers a broad range of property services,
    including residential house sales along with residential lettings and
    property management.

  • The Group also has one of the largest surveying businesses in the UK,
    providing survey and related services for customers of the Group and survey
    panel management services to 20 lenders.

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange