Bradford & Bingley seeks to reassure investors


Bradford & Bingley seeks to reassure investors
Bradford & Bingley has told investors it is funded into 2009 despite ongoing uncertainties in the wholesale markets.

The mortgage lender stated in an interim statement that prudent management and a diverse funding portfolio would ensure wholesale liability maturities were matched for the next year.

The news comes despite what the company describes as "on-going difficulties in the wholesale markets".

"The first quarter of 2008 has seen excellent growth in our retail deposit base," said B&B group chief executive, Steven Crawshaw.

"Bradford & Bingley has a strong capital base and has funded its business activities through 2008 and into 2009. We have a focused strategy, and a business model that is adaptable to changing market conditions."

B&B explained the £2 billion committed funding facility announced with the company's preliminary results is currently undrawn.

While acknowledging mortgage conditions remain "uneconomic" for lenders, the company expects its franchise to attract retail balances, and to able to access secured wholesale money using its quality mortgage collateral.

The company also reported an increase of £1.9 billion in savings deposits to date, following an increased focus on savings throughout its branch network.

"Our savings business continues to perform very well, with a strong start to the second quarter," explained B&B in the statement.

"Demand for buy-to-let mortgages remains high with continuing tenant demand and rising rents."

However, the lender acknowledged the supply of mortgages to meet this demand is constrained by the lack of funding generally and the withdrawal of several competitors from the mortgage market.

"We have a focused strategy, and a business model that helps us to respond quickly to changing conditions," concluded the B&B statement.

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