Quintain has asked the Takeover Panel to set a time limit on HBOS to decide whether it will launch a takeover bid.

In a Stock Exchange announcement this morning, Quintain said it was responding to the announcement of HBOS subsidiary Quill Securities, which has built up a 13.9% stake in Quintain, which said it was evaluating its options regarding the regeneration-led developer.

Quintain chairman John Plender said: ‘We have an outstanding team at Quintain and the board supports the management’s desire to realise the full potential of the business for all our shareholders.

‘This is a very active time for Quintain and we are concerned that a protracted period of uncertainty will be detrimental to the company and have therefore requested the Panel to set a deadline for HBOS.’