Just in case you thought the crisis was over, I have to remind you that there are still firms out there that are very concerned about their futures. Principal among them is the UK buy-to-let specialist Bradford & Bingley.
The word on the street is that the FSA, the UK banking regulator, is shopping the company to foreign banks including NAB of Australia and Santander of Spain. Given the mass of funding needs rolling forward in the banking sector in the UK and the US, now is the time to shore up one’s position.
I also have to use this opportunity to condemn the demutualisation of Bradford & Bingley. If you remember, they were a building society until 2000. But as soon as they became a public company, their risk profile increased dramatically and that is directly responsible for the dire state the company is now in.
U.K.’s Financial Services Authority is reaching out to potential buyers of Bradford & Bingley, a buy-to-let mortgage lender, according to a report in the Telegraph.
The FSA is in contact with Spanish banking group Banco Santander and National Australian Bank Ltd. to gauge their interest in a takeover of B&B, the U.K. newspaper said in a report posted late Saturday on its Web site, citing people close to the situation.
However, Reuters said B&B had denied any such deal.
“We’re not aware of anything in connection with these three banks. Our funding foundations are solid, and we’re well capitalized,” it quoted a B&B spokesman as saying.
U.K.’s FSA seeks a buyer for Bradford & Bingley – Market Watch