Bradford & Bingley recovers with profit of £200m

Bradford & Bingley has returned to profit two years after the Government bailed out the mortgage lender at the height of the banking crisis.

UK Asset Resolution, the state-owned company that runs B&B and Northern Rock Asset Management, said B&B made underlying profits of £200.1m in 2010, compared with losses of £166.5m in 2009.

The bank, which has its headquarters at B&B’s Crossflatts home in Bingley, employs 1,000 people in Bingley, a figure that has stayed level over the past year. There are no plans for any more job losses.

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UKAR is hopeful that once it has achieved its primary goal of repaying the taxpayer the £48bn it owes, it can create a new role for staff servicing mortgages.

UKAR’s chief executive Richard Banks said: “If we can create an organisation that is very good at what it does and we facilitate full repayment of the Government debt, maybe we have an alternative future.

“We could continue servicing mortgages, whether it’s new mortgages or mortgages we’ve already got.”

UKAR said its 850,000 customers benefited from very low interest rates as the Bank of England’s base rate stayed at a record low of 0.5 per cent throughout the year.

B&B said the number of mortgages in arrears fell 32 per cent to 13,096 as a result, down from 19,159 in 2009.

The number of properties in possession fell to 623 from 962 the previous year.

UKAR warned that inflation, Government cuts, job losses and a possible rise in interest rates will put pressure on disposable incomes this year and could impact on bad debt levels.

As economic conditions deteriorate Mr Banks said some customers will struggle.

“In some cases we will help them to do an assisted voluntary sale and help them to move out. It’s not helping them if they stay in the property and rack up debts,” he said.