Train leasing companies warn UK govt they may stop buying trains
AFX: 30th October 2006
LONDON - Two of the UK's three train leasing companies have warned the UK government they may stop buying new trains if it launches an inquiry into the industry, according to a report.
Angel Trains, owned by Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, and Derby-based Porterbrook, owned by Abbey and Banco Santander Central Hispano, are understood to have warned the Department for Transport that uncertainty caused by a full inquiry would prevent them arranging new leases, the Financial Times reported.
Ministers complained in June to the UK's rail regulator that prices being charged to train operators for leasing older trains were unreasonably high.
The regulator will issue a consultation document before the end of November about whether the matter should be referred to the Competition Commission. Together with HSBC Rail, the three leasing companies have owned most of Britain's rolling stock since the industry was privatised in the mid-1990s.