Tesco is said to be considering selling a stake in its Edinburgh-based bank as it aims to raise billions of pounds in much-needed additional capital.
The troubled supermarket giant is fighting the biggest crisis in its 95-year history.
It is said to be in the early stages of examining a potential partial float of Tesco Bank, which could raise between £500m and £1bn.
The grocer’s new chief executive, Dave Lewis, has been forced to consider the possible sale of the bank and several other prized assets, including its Asian operations, after the discovery of a big accounting black hole, a string of profits warnings, and a series of downgrades from ratings agencies.
The bank employees more than 3200 in Scotland in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Analysts say a large-scale cash-raising exercise by Tesco as inevitable, estimating that the cost of turning round the supermarket giant could eventually rise to as much as £3bn.