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Repossessions set to increase as Madoff losses kicks in

Speculation that Santander, the owner of Abbey National and Bradford & Bingley, has losses approaching £2 billion from the Madoff investment fund collapse and suggestions that the likes of Royal Bank of Scotland have lost potentially £400 million have grabbed headlines over the last few days. But who will ultimately pay for these losses?

There is immense speculation in the financial press that housing repossession levels will increase substantially as UK banks look to "box off" any more potential losses in their UK businesses. Despite the government's recent mortgage relief scheme and an agreement for a six-month breathing space before repossession action is taken the landscape has changed over the last few days possibly to the detriment of those in mortgage arrears.

Yet again we see the general consumer set to pay the cost for reckless investments in the past, something which is very much a sign of the times, with billions of pounds of losses to be announced aside from those related to the credit crunch. Consumers are growing very wary of increased banking costs and additional charges and many feel let down by the government's policy which has seen a sector bailed out using taxpayer's money with no visible return as yet.

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