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Will Barclays Bank be the next to insure its toxic assets?

As the news continues to sink in regarding Lloyds TSB and a £260 billion deal to insure toxic assets from the merged Lloyds Bank/HBOS it would appear that Barclays Bank could be next in line. The company is rumoured to have organised talks with the Treasury for this week during which the company may well look to significantly reduced its liabilities regarding toxic assets. The city was surprised last month when the company announced profits of £6.1 billion but also confirmed its balance sheet (including assets and liabilities) has grown to £2,000 billion.

Interestingly Barclays Bank decided to look to the Middle East in 2008 when additional investment capital was required and managed to sidestep the tight regulations introduced by the UK government. However, the company has continued to suffer and may require assistance with its toxic assets exposure which should allow the group to increase its liquidity in the financial markets. As we touched on with one of our earlier articles, Lloyds Bank was seen as the most conservative UK banking operation and it is now firmly under the control of the UK government. If Lloyds Bank can succumb to part-nationalisation is any UK bank really 100% safe?

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