High street banks plan to help Treasury offload £17bn of Bradford and Bingley loans

William Turvill
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Abbey National In Acquisition Deal With Bradford & Bingley
In 2008, Bradford and Bingley was nationalised and split into a "good" bank and a "bad" bank (Source: Getty)

Britain’s largest high street banks are planning to help the Treasury offload £17bn of Bradford and Bingley (B&B) loans.

The proposal would see Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, Nationwide and Santander guarantee around £17bn of financing to the purchasers of the loans.

It emerged at the beginning of this year that a sizeable part of B&B’s mortgage book could be sold off in what could be the biggest ever sale of financial assets by a British government.

Read more: Treasury prepares for £17bn mortgage sale

Sky News first reported the government was working on plans to offload a £17bn tranche of the bailed-out mortgage lender. It reported last month that Credit Suisse had been appointed to handle the prospective sale.

The six banks are currently liable for interest on the loan used to fund B&B during the financial crisis in 2008, last year alone clocking in at £400m.

As part of the plan, the six banks, which have all declined to comment, would create a special-purpose vehicle that would house the loans ahead of a sale to investors.

The plan, which would involve repaying outstanding borrowings before a sale, is reportedly set to be outlined to the Treasury in the next few days, with the Chancellor planning to announce the sale in this month’s Budget.

In November last year the government offloaded £13bn of mortgages that were acquired from Northern Rock during the financial crisis, under mortgage securitisation vehicle Granite.

The Treasury declined to comment.

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