Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Sunday, 13 April 2008 13:48 UK

Bank denies cash-raising reports

Branch of Bradford & Bingley
Bradford & Bingley has been trying to attract savers recently

Bradford & Bingley has denied reports that it is planning to go to the market to raise extra cash to see it through the credit crisis.

Sunday papers said Citigroup had been asked to help with a rights issue to raise hundreds of millions of pounds.

But a statement from the bank said that it had a strong capital base and, "had funded its business activities through 2008 and into 2009".

Bradford & Bingley is Britain's biggest buy-to-let lender.

Its share price has fallen by more than 35% so far this year as one of the lenders that took a higher proportion of its funding from wholesale money markets rather than savers.

But recently it has been concentrating on attracting savers.

Its statement said, "Contrary to press speculation today, Bradford & Bingley announces that it is not intending to issue equity capital by way of a rights issue or otherwise.

"In the current market environment, the Board will naturally continue to monitor closely the balance sheet strength of the business and its funding plans."

In November, the bank sold a commercial property loan portfolio to GE Real Estate for 2bn, and its housing association loan book to Dexia for about 2.2bn.

Mortgages halved

Bradford & Bingley will release interim results on the day of its annual general meeting, which is on 22 April.

Its chief executive, Steven Crawshaw is also the chairman of the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

He warned last week that mortgage lending this year could fall to half of last year's levels unless the Bank of England provides additional funding.

Senior banking executives are meeting Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling at Downing Street on Tuesday to discuss what to do about the mortgage market.

Mortgage products are being withdrawn rapidly by lenders that either want to reduce their exposure to the housing market or cannot cope with the demand as other banks withdraw.

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