Formed in 1985 through a merger of the Alliance Building Society and the Leicester Building Society, Alliance & Leicester became a bank in 1997 when it was floated on the London Stock Exchange. Formerly listed in the FTSE 250 Index, having been a FTSE 100 constituent from April 1997 to June 2008, Alliance & Leicester was acquired by the Spanish firm Banco Santander in October 2008. Its headquarters are in Carlton Park, a business park in Narborough, south of Leicester in England. The group also has premises in Bootle, Manchester, Wigan, Leeds, Ashford and Belfast, and all its contact centres are UK based.
The four business sectors are:
The Group provides general insurance, life assurance, unit trusts, personal current accounts and credit cards, asset financing and commercial lending. Its main retail business is in the United Kingdom concentrating on mortgages, current accounts, savings and personal loans. The Group is also endeavouring to expand its commercial operations through ALCB (Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank). The Group's provision of retail credit cards is through its partner MBNA, and its provision of investments and insurance are through Legal & General, and Zurich respectively.
Alliance & Leicester has a subsidiary operating in the international market and based on the Isle of Man.