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Bradford & Bingley write-offs increase

It has been revealed that the Bradford & Bingley, the bank which was nationalised by the UK government, was been forced to write off a staggering £508 million last year. This compares with just £22.5 million in 2007 and is a serious blow to the UK taxpayer who took on the "risky loan book" after the collapse of the business.

While the company still expects to pay back the taxpayer investment in full in due course, there is no doubt that 2008 and most probably 2009 could be some of the most difficult years in the company's long history. The revelation that 4.6% of all mortgage accounts are now at least three months in arrears, compared to just 1.6% back in 2007, does not put bode the immediate future. The company itself is a specialist in the buy to let market which has been suffering of late, in line with the general property sector.

Even though the UK government had little choice but to take on the risky loan book of Bradford & Bingley, and sell on the branch business, this is yet another blow to the UK taxpayer who is literally billions upon billions of pounds down at the moment. The ongoing problems in the UK mortgage market would appear set to continue for some time yet and there's every chance that the situation at Bradford & Bingley could get much worse before it gets better.

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