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B&B nationalised following sharp share price drop

The treasury has announced the nationalisation of Bradford & Bingley (B&B), after the troubled lender failed to find a private backer.B&B shares have fallen 95 per cent since the start of the year, as investors lost confidence over its financial stablitity.The firm had been particularly exposed to the buy to let market, which has faced severe negative sentiment over recent months due to the credit crunch.This is because private landlords, who often own more than one highly-leveraged property at a time, are particularly exposed to falls in house prices causing negative equity.Lenders say that the cost of the average UK home has dropped by ten per cent over the past year and is still falling.Therefore, B&B's £50 billion mortgage book is seen as too toxic for any private buyer to take on - and has therefore been taken over by the government.In a statement, the treasury said: "Following recent turbulence in global financial markets, B&B has found itself under increasing pressure as investors and lenders lost confidence in its ability to carry on as an independent institution."

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