Spanish bank Banco Santander is set to take another look at whether to float its UK arm later this year, the bank said on Thursday.
The parent group's position remains that floating the UK subsidiary is still a "medium-term objective", a UK-based spokesman told Digital Look.
It would "look at the timing towards the end of this year", the spokesman said.
Santander, whose overseas operations run under a subsidiary model, has already floated its Mexican operations and its US auto finance business.
A wave of companies have floated on the UK stock market this year to take advantage of buoyant market conditions, including retailers such as Poundland, Pets at Home and AO World.
But a number of other private businesses, such as retailer Fat Face and Hungarian budget airline Wizz Air, have abandoned possible flotations amid concerns that funders would undervalue them in a saturated market.
Santander made its comments after the bank last month reported higher first half profits and said competition in UK banking was strengthening.
Customers were becoming more active and shopping around for banking products, while rivals were stabilising their businesses and focusing more on UK banking, Santander said.
The UK government has been trying to promote more bank competition following a series of industry scandals that critics have blamed partly on complacency caused by the market dominance of the UK's traditional big banks.
Partly state-owned banks such as Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland have also faced pressure to lend more to UK individuals and small businesses rather than doing riskier "casino banking".
Santander UK chief executive Ana Botin said in the results issued on 31 July: "We're confident our innovative approach and our continued investment in products and services will bring us further success."
Prudent risk management
Santander UK attributed an 18% rise in pre-tax profit to £545m to continued growth in net interest income, strong cost discipline and good credit quality.
Net interest income rose a fifth to £1.67bn due partly to increased lending in commercial banking.
Santander said, however, that factors including growing market competition and a cautious approach to lending meant its commercial banking business was unlikely to make up a fifth of its balance sheet by 2015 - a target that it set itself in 2011.
Its commercial banking customer loans rose by £1bn in the first half of 2014 and by £2.1bn in the last year to £23.1bn, boosted by more lending to large corporate and small and medium-sized firms.
Commercial lending, which rose a tenth in the last 12 months to £23.1bn, "continues to be subject to prudent risk management criteria", Santander said.
"We will not, however, compromise on our prudent risk management and returns objectives to achieve our 2015 mix aspiration for the commercial banking business. Our 20% target will not be achieved by the end of 2015, but remains a medium-term objective," it said.
Shares in Banco Santander were €0.01 or 0.12% down at €7.29 at 14:25 in Madrid.