The planned sale of more than 600 UK bank branches by Lloyds Banking Group to the Co-Operative Group has fallen through, people familiar with the matter said.

Confirmation of the collapse of the deal is expected to come on Wednesday morning, the sources said.

The deal has long been in danger, and is likely to leave Lloyds' most likely option as a flotation of the branches some time in 2014. European regulators have demanded Lloyds sell the branches as a cost of taking a state bailout.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham and Steve Slater; Editing by Sinead Cruise)