Budget 2016: Chancellor George Osborne to kick start £16bn B&B sell-off

Jessica Morris
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Chancellor George Osborne is gearing up to kick start a £16bn sale of bailed-out banking group Bradford and Bingley (B&B) loans in next week's Budget.

Osborne decided to include the projected sale of the mortgage lender on Wednesday, following weeks of discussions with Treasury officials.

The timing of the auction is unclear, and it may not conclude for months, giving investor's appetites enough time to recover from the earlier £13bn asset sale involving the former Northern Rock late last year, Sky News said.

Read more: Budget 2016 predictions - A spread of tax raising measures are coming - from raising capital gains tax to tackling salary sacrifice schemes

Sky previously reported Britain's biggest high street banks - Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, Nationwide and Santander - were drawing up plans to help ministers with the sale.

It comes as economists are warning weaker-than-expected economic growth will create a black hole in the public finances, forcing Chancellor George Osborne into further austerity measures on Wednesday.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates Osborne could have £45bn less to spend due to a “deterioration in the world economy”.

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