The take-over of Alliance & Leicester by the Spanish bank Santander has been given the legal green light by the High Court.
A judge in London said the court would formally sanction a scheme of arrangment involving the cancellation of A&L's share capital and the issue to shareholders of one Santander share in return for every three A&L shares.
Banco Santander shares closed on the London Stock Exchange on Monday at 858.5p, and A&L at 285p.
Mr Justice Morgan heard that 44% of A&L shareholders had voted on the scheme and 96.5% of them were in favour.
After an unopposed 15-minute hearing, the judge said he would approve the reduction of capital and sanction the scheme of arrangement in two days time.
Meanwhile, Alliance & Leicester was fined a record £7 million for "serious failings" over selling techniques for payment protection insurance (PPI).
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) said telephone sales staff at the bank failed to make clear that the insurance for its loans was optional, and they were also trained to put pressure on customers when they queried the inclusion of PPI.
FSA enforcement director Margaret Cole said: "The failings at A&L (Alliance & Leicester) are the most serious we have found. This is reflected in the record PPI fine."
The failings occurred between 2005 and 2007, the FSA said, when A&L sold 210,000 policies at an average price of £1,265.